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Analytics, Mathematics, and Art of Rene Romero Schuler and Van Gogh


Is there a connection between Analytics, Mathematics and arts? How do we add arts flavor to analytics business is the question. And answer lies in century old painting by Van Gogh called "The Starry Night" which represents perfect turbulence.



By PK.

Ask Artists how they perceive mathematics. Answer will be negative. Ask mathematicians what they think about arts. Answer won't be exciting. Ask business analytics people how they use arts in their work. Answer would be big zero. Is there a connection between Analytics, Mathematics and arts? How do we add arts flavor to analytics business is the question. The answer lies in century old painting by The Starry Night, by Vincent Van GoghVan Gogh called "The Starry Night" which represents perfect turbulence.

I have taken a case study of Rene Romero Schuler paintings to prove the point that arts is indeed well connected with analytics and mathematics.

Rene is world renowned artist and her work has been instrumental building a bridge between Mathematics and Art. Van Gogh expressed concept of Turbulence in his paintings. Rene's work takes one step ahead in expressing mathematical concepts on the canvas. This post is an attempt to understand mathematical modeling and business analytics with respect to Rene's artwork.

First thoughts after looking at Rene's tremendous artwork:

Rene Schuler 3

Similarly to mathematics, painting is also a semiotic system, a particular universe of symbols. Both mathematics and art are concerned with abstract ideas. Like pure mathematics, abstract art does not imitate reality but renders it. Paralleling pure mathematics, abstract art also involves the study of forms devoid of subject matter. Pure mathematics and abstract art both express aesthetic dimensions of the human experience. They are both meaningless in themselves and acquire meaning only through interpretation.

Some of Rene Schuler work falls under category of modern expressionism.

Rene Schuler 1 Even the highest quality of a brush, canvas and colors on the painter's palette by themselves cannot produce art. So in order to make an ingenious work in mathematics, or a magnificent masterpiece in painting, the act of creation must occur, in which both the mathematician and the artist apply their basic tools to the subject through cognitive processes that tap their talents, skills and intellect.

Some of her paintings are based on Platonic solids and fractal geometry. The painting on the right is based on concepts of thermo-economics showing mirrored economies with different entropies. She manages to create mathematical beauty and is yet able to pull off perfect abstract paintings which make us reflect and think for a while in today's "rush-hour" life.

Rene Schuler 4

It is high time that we business and research communities acknowledge such a tremendous work and add some flavor to business analytics products.

Here are some relevant research works on mathematics and art.

  • Origami design secrets: mathematical methods for an ancient art
    Robert J. Lang, Thomas C. Hull
  • Fractal Cosmos: The Art of Mathematical Design
    Jeff Berkowitz, Lifesmith Fractals
  • Looking at a Painting with a Mathematical Eye
    Marion Walter, For the Learning of Mathematics, Vol. 21, No. 2 (Jul., 2001), pp. 26-30
  • Re-constructing a painting with geometric eyes
    N Sinclair, For the learning of mathematics, 2002 - JSTOR
  • From Art to Mathematics in the Paintings of Theo van Doesburg, by Paola Vighi, Igino Aschieri
  • "Shape Grammars and the Generative Specification of Painting and Sculpture" by George Stiny and James Gips. Presented at IFIP Congress 71 in Ljubljana, Yugoslavia. Selected as the Best Submitted Paper. Published in the Proceedings: C V Freiman (ed.) Information Processing 71 (Amsterdam: North- Holland, 1972) 1460-1465.

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