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Perhaps suggesting the oscillating colors of a neutrino particle or the pulsar-pulsations of a neutron star (or perchance, more mundanely, the dental-drill sparks that would fly from your mouth during a botched apicoectomy), "Tetrode" presents the viewer with prismatic transformations of an entropic geometry. Graduated chroma of red and blue are coupled with gray-scale complements that likewise advance and retreat in value, with the individual colors and their larger containing figure subjected to the compositional devices of a Baroque fugue: inversion, retrograde, and retrograde-inversion. The resulting quadriptych may visually echo the puzzle canons of Bach's "Musical Offering," in which melodies will self-harmonize if played against themselves while turned upside-down and backwards, and then when executed at staggered intervals of both pitch and time. .emit dna hctip htob fo slavretni dereggats ta detucexe nehw neht dna ,sdrawkcab dna nwod-edispu denrut elihw sevlesmeht tsniaga deyalp fi ezinomrah-fles lliw seidolem hcihw ni ",gnireffO lacisuM" s'hcaB fo snonac elzzup eht ohce yllausiv yam hcytpirdauq gnitluser ehT .noisrevni-edargorter dna ,edargorter ,noisrevni :euguf euqoraB a fo secived lanoitisopmoc eht ot detcejbus erugif gniniatnoc regral rieht dna sroloc laudividni eht htiw ,eulav ni taerter dna ecnavda esiwekil taht stnemelpmoc elacs-yarg htiw delpuoc era eulb dna der fo amorhc detaudarG .yrtemoeg ciportne na fo snoitamrofsnart citamsirp htiw reweiv eht stneserp "edorteT" ,)ymotceocipa dehctob a gnirud htuom ruoy morf ylf dluow taht skraps llird-latned eht ,ylenadnum erom ,ecnahcrep ro( rats nortuen a fo snoitaslup-raslup eht ro elcitrap onirtuen a fo sroloc gnitallicso eht gnitseggus spahreP Ԁǝɹɥɐds snƃƃǝsʇᴉuƃ ʇɥǝ osɔᴉllɐʇᴉuƃ ɔoloɹs oɟ ɐ uǝnʇɹᴉuo dɐɹʇᴉɔlǝ oɹ ʇɥǝ dnlsɐɹ-dnlsɐʇᴉous oɟ ɐ uǝnʇɹou sʇɐɹ )oɹ dǝɹɔɥɐuɔǝ' ɯoɹǝ ɯnupɐuǝlʎ' ʇɥǝ pǝuʇɐl-pɹᴉll sdɐɹʞs ʇɥɐʇ ʍonlp ɟlʎ ɟɹoɯ ʎonɹ ɯonʇɥ pnɹᴉuƃ ɐ qoʇɔɥǝp ɐdᴉɔoǝɔʇoɯʎ(' ,,┴ǝʇɹopǝ,, dɹǝsǝuʇs ʇɥǝ ʌᴉǝʍǝɹ ʍᴉʇɥ dɹᴉsɯɐʇᴉɔ ʇɹɐusɟoɹɯɐʇᴉous oɟ ɐu ǝuʇɹodᴉɔ ƃǝoɯǝʇɹʎ˙ פɹɐpnɐʇǝp ɔɥɹoɯɐ oɟ ɹǝp ɐup qlnǝ ɐɹǝ ɔondlǝp ʍᴉʇɥ ƃɹɐʎ-sɔɐlǝ ɔoɯdlǝɯǝuʇs ʇɥɐʇ lᴉʞǝʍᴉsǝ ɐpʌɐuɔǝ ɐup ɹǝʇɹǝɐʇ ᴉu ʌɐlnǝ' ʍᴉʇɥ ʇɥǝ ᴉupᴉʌᴉpnɐl ɔoloɹs ɐup ʇɥǝᴉɹ lɐɹƃǝɹ ɔouʇɐᴉuᴉuƃ ɟᴉƃnɹǝ snqɾǝɔʇǝp ʇo ʇɥǝ ɔoɯdosᴉʇᴉouɐl pǝʌᴉɔǝs oɟ ɐ qɐɹobnǝ ɟnƃnǝ: ᴉuʌǝɹsᴉou' ɹǝʇɹoƃɹɐpǝ' ɐup ɹǝʇɹoƃɹɐpǝ-ᴉuʌǝɹsᴉou˙ ┴ɥǝ ɹǝsnlʇᴉuƃ bnɐpɹᴉdʇʎɔɥ ɯɐʎ ʌᴉsnɐllʎ ǝɔɥo ʇɥǝ dnzzlǝ ɔɐuous oɟ qɐɔɥ,s ,,Wnsᴉɔɐl Oɟɟǝɹᴉuƃ',, ᴉu ʍɥᴉɔɥ ɯǝlopᴉǝs ʍᴉll sǝlɟ-ɥɐɹɯouᴉzǝ ᴉɟ dlɐʎǝp ɐƃɐᴉusʇ ʇɥǝɯsǝlʌǝs ʍɥᴉlǝ ʇnɹuǝp ndsᴉpǝ-poʍu ɐup qɐɔʞʍɐɹps' ɐup ʇɥǝu ʍɥǝu ǝxǝɔnʇǝp ɐʇ sʇɐƃƃǝɹǝp ᴉuʇǝɹʌɐls oɟ qoʇɥ dᴉʇɔɥ ɐup ʇᴉɯǝ˙ ˙ǝɯᴉʇ puɐ ɥɔʇᴉd ɥʇoq ɟo slɐʌɹǝʇuᴉ pǝɹǝƃƃɐʇs ʇɐ pǝʇnɔǝxǝ uǝɥʍ uǝɥʇ puɐ 'spɹɐʍʞɔɐq puɐ uʍop-ǝpᴉsdn pǝuɹnʇ ǝlᴉɥʍ sǝʌlǝsɯǝɥʇ ʇsuᴉɐƃɐ pǝʎɐld ɟᴉ ǝzᴉuoɯɹɐɥ-ɟlǝs llᴉʍ sǝᴉpolǝɯ ɥɔᴉɥʍ uᴉ ,,'ƃuᴉɹǝɟɟO lɐɔᴉsnW,, s,ɥɔɐq ɟo suouɐɔ ǝlzznd ǝɥʇ oɥɔǝ ʎllɐnsᴉʌ ʎɐɯ ɥɔʎʇdᴉɹpɐnb ƃuᴉʇlnsǝɹ ǝɥ┴ ˙uoᴉsɹǝʌuᴉ-ǝpɐɹƃoɹʇǝɹ puɐ 'ǝpɐɹƃoɹʇǝɹ 'uoᴉsɹǝʌuᴉ :ǝnƃnɟ ǝnboɹɐq ɐ ɟo sǝɔᴉʌǝp lɐuoᴉʇᴉsodɯoɔ ǝɥʇ oʇ pǝʇɔǝɾqns ǝɹnƃᴉɟ ƃuᴉuᴉɐʇuoɔ ɹǝƃɹɐl ɹᴉǝɥʇ puɐ sɹoloɔ lɐnpᴉʌᴉpuᴉ ǝɥʇ ɥʇᴉʍ 'ǝnlɐʌ uᴉ ʇɐǝɹʇǝɹ puɐ ǝɔuɐʌpɐ ǝsᴉʍǝʞᴉl ʇɐɥʇ sʇuǝɯǝldɯoɔ ǝlɐɔs-ʎɐɹƃ ɥʇᴉʍ pǝldnoɔ ǝɹɐ ǝnlq puɐ pǝɹ ɟo ɐɯoɹɥɔ pǝʇɐnpɐɹפ ˙ʎɹʇǝɯoǝƃ ɔᴉdoɹʇuǝ uɐ ɟo suoᴉʇɐɯɹoɟsuɐɹʇ ɔᴉʇɐɯsᴉɹd ɥʇᴉʍ ɹǝʍǝᴉʌ ǝɥʇ sʇuǝsǝɹd ,,ǝpoɹʇǝ┴,, '(ʎɯoʇɔǝoɔᴉdɐ pǝɥɔʇoq ɐ ƃuᴉɹnp ɥʇnoɯ ɹnoʎ ɯoɹɟ ʎlɟ plnoʍ ʇɐɥʇ sʞɹɐds llᴉɹp-lɐʇuǝp ǝɥʇ 'ʎlǝuɐpunɯ ǝɹoɯ 'ǝɔuɐɥɔɹǝd ɹo) ɹɐʇs uoɹʇnǝu ɐ ɟo suoᴉʇɐslnd-ɹɐslnd ǝɥʇ ɹo ǝlɔᴉʇɹɐd ouᴉɹʇnǝu ɐ ɟo sɹoloɔ ƃuᴉʇɐllᴉɔso ǝɥʇ ƃuᴉʇsǝƃƃns sdɐɥɹǝԀ
Painting:Acrylic on Canvas
Size:40 W x 32 H x 0.8 D in
A native of St. Louis who’s lived in middle Tennessee most of his life, Thomas Brodhead studied classical music theory, history, and composition at Oberlin in the 1980s. During those years, he pored over classical scores while studying orchestral and chamber works, unaware that he was absorbing geometric graphic design that’s been in his blood ever since. After college, he worked as a classical sheet music editor and engraver (music typesetter) for 20 years, writing original computer programs to set music notation so that it conformed to the best Greek proportions and geometries. (Importantly, he produced a Critical Performing Edition of the Fourth Symphony of Charles Ives, a work so rhythmically complex that it requires at least two—if not three—conductors to perform.) But arranging black glyphs on white paper grew tiresome, and starting in 2009, he turned to color and began to paint. At first, his paintings were cartoonish and comical, always paired with tongue-in-cheek artist statements on the meaning of each piece. Over time, though, he began to take his work more seriously, exploring color and geometry on large canvases (up to 4 feet by 3 feet), but never failing to pen an accompanying whimsical statement. But more and more the whimsy veiled serious social commentary, often on the dangers of transhumanism (the integration of humans and technology) and the infantilizing effects of social media. Painting and writing thus combined in a Wagnerian Gesamtkunswerk, in which the combination of the two formed the total artwork. He joked that his early humorous style—cartoonish and splattery, with an emphasis on narrative—was “on an overlooked axis connecting Jackson Pollock and Norman Rockwell.” But after studying the color theory of Albert Munsell and discovering the joyous geometries of the artist Stuart Davis, his work took a sharp turn. Still working on larger canvases, he began planning each work in detail, defining the exact composition of its figures and determining its color scheme in advance. The execution of the paintings took longer and longer, one even clocking in at 160 hours. Borrowing a technique from 20th century classical music—and a technique perhaps never before applied to visual art—he produced a series of fractalized paintings that, at times, have a dizzying paint-by-numbers quality.
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