About Isabelle Kerner

image1

Isabelle Kerner

My pieces show the mathematical patterns that prove these similarities between seemingly unrelated things. They incorporate shapes, patterns, repetition, symmetry, color, reflection, light, and form. There are many intended meanings within each single piece.


My projects convey the idea of perfection while noting the presence of imperfection. The pieces question the relationship between organic and inorganic shapes, rational and irrational numbers. They explore the patterns of number distribution that no mathematician has yet solved.


I have manually translated the CYM and RGB colors into hand mixed, visible, mathematically created colors using trade secret formula(s). This has only ever been done before using computers.

image2

PROCESS

While I am an artist, I slightly resent the term as I feel it has become conflated with nearly every other mean or method of creation. I call my ‘pieces’ projects because each involves as much scientific research, mathematical calculations, chemistry and construction as the act of marking the surface with a medium. Using a very scientific and mathematical method to create my pieces allows me to combine art to the subjects of science and math without drawing any direct attention to the two fields.

image3

PHILOSOPHY

My perception of the arts may deviate from other individuals and perhaps many artists as well. What I believe distinguishes art from other subjects and fields of study is that art transcends the lines that divide academic studies of math, science, history, sociology, psychology and economics. Through my pieces, I visually depict the similarities I see in objects and concepts that many would assume are unrelated.

Explanation of my art

image4

"I visually depict the similarities things that many would assume are unrelated"

Through my practice, I intend to emphasize the similarities between seemingly different objects by portraying them in a context that contradicts their definitions. Put simply, the art that I create focuses on the relationship between opposites. Because opposites refer to concepts or things and their inverses, opposites are typically associated with difference. 


However, ever since I can remember, I have always perceived the similarities between opposites before taking into account their differences. The way that I see it, the fact that opposites have the same difference makes them essentially the same in the sense that they are both more related to all things in between them than they are to things in between them themselves. 


 While this may seem confusing, it is not as abstract as it sounds. Because no opposite exists without its inverse and because no thing can exist without its opposite, I feel that opposites have a particularly vital role in creating an order in the relationship between things. My observation of opposites throughout my life has led me to create visual depictions of these opposites that forces viewers to consider the similarities and instills a sense of uncertainty in what we think of when we refer to opposites as well as how the world portrays them.


 If my art were to be an art movement, it would be called polarism. Polar refers to things directly opposite in character or tendency. My fascination with opposites stems from the way that I perceive things. For as long as I can remember ‘1’ has been red; ‘2’ blue, and ‘3’ yellow. That’s why I was elated to learn that ‘2’ added to ‘3’ was the same as blue added to yellow, or ‘5’. The number ‘5’ has always been green to me. When I first learned how to write, I was amazed that by adding just one more line to the letter ‘N’ to make it ‘M’, its color would change from blue to purple. The way that I perceive things is known as synesthesia, a neurological condition in which individuals perceive senses relating to one part of the body from stimulation of another part of the body. While I have had synesthesia all of my life, it wasn’t until about 7th grade that I became aware that my way of perceiving differed from those around me, 


 However, the diagnoses did not mean much to me. Really, all it did was inform me of the phenomenon. The information allowed me to pay more attention to my thought processes. I began to spend a great deal of time thinking about the way that I think about things. Very quickly, I noticed strong correlations between concepts that reveled a deeper relationship than that inferred from common knowledge. Of the most notable correlations was my perception of nothing as white and everything as black. 


 Though a very small percentage of the population actually has synesthesia, the small amount of research that has been done on the topic shows that the basis of synesthetic perception stems from mental intuitions that can be traced back to pre-historic intuitions. In other words, synesthetic perceptions are thought to be enhancements of non-synesthetic perceptions. This suggests that some basic perceptions are the same across all cohorts. My inquiries with other individuals supports this hypothesis. Over the years, I have probably asked thousands of people about how they perceive nothing and everything. Every single person I have spoken to has explained their visual perception of nothing and everything as black, white or some combination of the two. 


 The strong prevalence of black and white as people’s visual perception of nothing and everything had led me to further explore and theorize about their significance. I have learned that black and white are both theoretically impossible to create as they involve all three primary colors being combined in exactly equal proportions; white reflecting the combinations in light, and black reflecting the combinations in matter. 


 The connections between colors, concepts, objects and their significance has instilled within me a tendency to automatically focus on or search for the similarities between things while filtering out the differences. While this has enhanced my creative abilities, it has often hindered my ability to follow directions, analyze events in isolation, and maintain satisfaction with the status quo. It has also caused me to question the standard format of education.

 

 Because it is virtually impossible for me to consider one subject without connecting it to another, I have never understood school’s need to divorce subjects like science and math from their lingual and philosophical counterparts. For this reason, a great deal of my pieces attempt to reconcile these divides. By depicting images on geometric canvases and by using a very systematic process, I am trying to show the ways in which art can be a very mathematical subject. Basing my decisions off of color theory and using a very scientific method to create the colors used in my pieces also allows me to combine the two fields and art without drawing any direct attention to the subjects of science and math. 


 Overall, the art that I make reflects my perception of the world around me. I visually depict the similarities I see in objects and concepts that many would assume are unrelated.