The link between art and mathematics

Art is more than caressing brushes on a blank canvas or sketching a black and white portrait. It is one of the few rare things to exist on Earth which truly enlightens us. Art has allowed me to view the world in many different ways.

Like any piece of art, any scenario can be projected and understood in various ways. The human mind is anything but simple. It is so complex that we ourselves, at times, fail to decipher some of our own words and actions. However, it is possible to express some things in other methods which we often fail to string into words.

Personally, I've never really seen the world in a mathematical order. However, when it comes to art, there is a great deal of mathematics involved and I think that's beautiful. Art is logical because you get the ability to decode messages or abstract paintings. There's a story and sometimes, a muse behind every successful drawing. It's the artist's way of creative expression.

When I was younger, I remember going to art exhibitions with my mother where she taught me that our perspective on art lies within us. There's no hard and fast rule, no definite formula. Though both art and maths have something in common. It was the idea that paintings and numbers both have a pattern, supported by the famous mathematician G.H. Hardy's words from his memoir, A Mathematician's Apology, "A mathematician, like a painter or poet, is a maker of patterns. If his patterns are more permanent than theirs, it is because they are made with ideas."

The world's multifaceted matters are suffused by mathematics and art. There are layers you'll discover, steps that are necessary to reach your final answer. It is also true that there are some questions that are not solvable. You can't simply reach a result.

Art is essentially the same. Much of Leonardo da Vinci's paintings included mathematics. One of the iconic ones is the Vitruvian Man, which portrayed a perfectly proportioned human form. This, in particular, is the beautiful merging of art and science. The Mona Lisa was also constructed using an aesthetic ratio to bring out "the divine proportion", or better known as "the golden ratio". Art and math breathed together in da Vinci's artworks.

True mathematicians and artists are able to get lost in their world to the point where everything else is on mute. They lose track of time because of the immense passion and thus leading to inevitable attention to quench the thirst of knowing the unknown.

We need both math and art to keep things sturdy, literally and metaphorically. Art is anything but irrational. The buildings, the trees and even the most minute things you're surrounded by are mostly an intersection of math and art.   

Ayra Areeba Abid's favourite word is 'serendipity' and she's a linguistics geek. Connect with her at [email protected]


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