Have you ever dreamed of living in a palace? This art & architecture video shows a collection of interior paintings and decorative sculpture I did for a villa in Montecito, California. The last room features plasterwork with an embroidered pattern cast into the folds!
The most important subject I learned on my own was sacred geometry. My use of perspective, illusion, and the proportional design of my architecture depends on this knowledge. This subject is perhaps the most important single component of our European artistic heritage, but we do not treat it as a serious subject in arts education.
Art education within our schools evolved in the latter half of the twentieth century as a study utterly disinterested in the decorative arts. For this reason, modernist art theory annihilated the visual art language that evolved for centuries. Never before in history have we thrown away such a rich cultural history and skill set as we have with visual art. We have not done this with music, mathematics, dance, or writing. We can still dance the waltz, solve algebraic equations, play a Mozart concerto, and read Shakespeare. Why can we no longer draw with Michelangelo’s virtuosity, design architecture like Brunelleschi, paint with Titian’s technique, or transform fantastical ideas into invention and innovation like Leonardo?
No matter what kind of project I am doing, I spend much of my time lost in the contemplation of spatial geometry. To this end, I can spend countless hours with architectural proportions. As the video shows, geometry and proportion form an enormous part of European art & architecture.
The roots of the sacred geometry tradition stretch back before ancient Greece and even ancient Egypt. The tradition influences at least five thousand years of human history. In this way, its timeline is similar to classical Chinese and Indian culture. Like its Asian counterparts, the European classical tradition of design is not a style, but a visual language that encompasses thousands of different individual styles.
Studying and working within any cultural context as vast as either the European or Asian classical traditions can be daunting, but is also endlessly challenging and rewarding.
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