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Art and math blend to imitate nature

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Edwin Vasquez’s exhibit ‘Refractions’ features fractals, never-ending patterns, used to mimic patterns found in nature. The show runs at the Metro Gallery in downtown Pomona. / photo by Melody Blazauskas

Edwin Vasquez’s exhibit ‘Refractions’ features fractals, never-ending patterns, used to mimic patterns found in nature. The show runs at the Metro Gallery in downtown Pomona. / photo by Melody Blazauskas

Liliana Castañeda
Staff Writer

Edwin Vasquez spoke last week about his art exhibit “Refractions” at the Metro Gallery in Pomona last week. 

The images in the exhibit are based on fractals, mathematically-based patterns that seem infinite. 

These patterns can be found throughout nature in structures like snowflakes, pineapples, ferns, tree branches, shells and rivers. 

Vasquez creates his pieces by using computer software to turn mathematical formulas he created into fractals. 

His designs are printed on silver aluminum paper.

“I use recycled materials to create pieces to bring consciousness to what we are doing about climate change,” Vasquez said. ”If you want change you have to start with what you have in your own house.” 

These fractals then resemble organic pieces like the patterns on a pineapple, or the petals of a rose.

One piece that stood out was a print-out with a blue, plant cell-like shape within a donut of fluorescent turquoise light, clearly isolated from its original color outside of the donut with a seemingly dark halo fading back into the blue.

Another piece seemed to be staring at the innards of a gun’s muzzle, with its metal twisting inward until it reached a center withholding an orb. 

The orb was fiery, glowing with red light, similar to that of a bullet glowing with heat energy, the transfer of energy from one atom to another through heat, like the trigger transferring its energy to the bullet. 

“Any art is political for me, no matter what I create. The rhetoric that we are having in our country right now is the same as when I came in as an immigrant. Politics is always present, especially for our Hispanic community.”

The intricate fine lines and folds created a velvety texture, with a consistent pattern throughout the print-out, the gold red-glowing sphere luring the eye to the center as its focus.

Vasquez left his home of Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, for more opportunities in the United States.

“They seem to be geometric patterns made in a spiral kind of shape which ends up looking like a lens on a camera,” said Josue Bonaparte, a UC-Riverside physics major who attended the artist’s talk.

“They are kind of weird looking. They capture your eyes immediately by the shapes and patterns, which is funny because one of the pieces looks like an eyeball,” added Yesenia Luna, a Citrus College student.

Vasquez is an artist who works with various media, including sculpture, paintings and photography, as well as the prints in this exhibit. 

His next exhibit will be at the Museum of Art and History in Lancaster by February. The exhibit will include 200 fractals mounted on the wall, similar to that of a collage.

“Refractions” will run until Oct. 4. 

The gallery is open Monday through Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Located at 119 W. 2nd Street in Pomona, the gallery offers free admission to those wishing to visit. 

Liliana Castañeda can be reached at liliana.castaneda@laverne.edu.

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