Abstract Artist: Paul McGuire
My work uses a digital process whose algorithm is similar to the same ones that govern natural phenomena, so my images evoke many natural patterns: smoke, fire, water, land. These natural forms often resonate with the viewer’s own life experience, and people usually connect with a particular image over others, in their own unique way. Some pieces are truly random generations, which I modify by adjusting the internal color and shape transforms; others are seeded from photographs to introduce patterns or a target color palette. Finally, I produce the images on canvas, tile, or glass in extremely high resolution, which provides new levels of discovery to the viewer, even over time.
Paul grew up with a variety of artistic and cultural influences. His older brothers studied creative writing and poetry, sculpture, and architecture. Paul’s own interests were in computers and mathematics. But computer arts were growing in the popular consciousness. Conway published his Game of Life, a program that generates endless complex patterns of swarming pixels following very simple rules of pixel “birth” and “death”. Mandelbrot’s famous fractal art also showed the limitless complexity and beauty of a simple recursive expression, and bridged these artificially produced patterns to very similar ones found in nature.
In the mid-1980’s Paul wrote his own software to generate fractal art, using a process of fractal decomposition similar to that used to generate fractal landscapes. Paul added his own formulas for transforming color and form, but the images he created at that time were rough and crude. In 2008, Paul revisited his program with modern computer resources, and was able to create much more complex and intricate images, with filaments and flares of color and shape. Since then he has produced these works in limited editions on canvas, tile, and glass, and has sold works in the US and Europe. Paul lives and produces his artwork at his home in Austin, Texas.