Friday, February 20, 2009

Art and Science: The beauty of it all

I wish I was a scientist (astrophysics) and I am glad I am not. Hmm, a deranged contradiction? I hope not. Consider this soliloquy as just an expressed self-realization that I, as a writer, photographer, and art lover along with a deep, abiding appreciation for the sciences see all of this in a different dimension and light. This view or attitude, puts me at serious odds with many a serious scientist who has neither the time nor the compulsion to go where I go. Am I wrong, are they lost? No, in both instances. The scientist looks up, and sees an assortment of compelling mysteries and rightfully asks why and when. Me, I look up, become stunned, awed and humble. I ask why, too, but wind up exclaiming "WOW" from shear awe in the mystery and beauty of all that I see.

I think there is room for both of us: the scientist and me the klutzy "arteest." I reach for the soul, and the scientist reaches for the mind. Most importantly, we both reach for the heart.

Regarded by many as a nutcase, Vincent van Gogh looked up and said (I think and hope), "WOW." Like much of his work, "Starry Night"(see image above) has absolutely no scientific credibility, but one must ask does it capture the drama and sheer beauty of an instance of the universe? I see an expression of both the glory and the power of all that celestial energy. Others may simply examine the arrangement of color and form and decide on the quality of the art. To me it represents both, and obviously, considering the value of this artwork, it fully succeeds.

British composer Gustav Holst in 1914 was so astounded with what he both saw and learned about the planets in our solar system he composed a symphonic poem to the planets.

Albert Einstein, in his greatness and simplicity of vision states, "The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed." I am inspired to keep my eyes open and see the art, and I revere those who likewise, eyes wide open, seek to explain all that surrounds us.