show Resonators provides the first opportunity for me to present works
together from two series that deal with high-energy physics.
series Particles is an investigation into the interactions of
subatomic particles inside an accelerator. It follows my Large Hadron
Collider series of paintings of the machinery of the largest accelerator
in the world, the LHC at CERN. The collider paintings were most recently
exhibited at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C. In the
new series, I am attempting to depict the super-small world of high energy
collisions, filled with virtual particles, quantum loops, and hadronic jets.
The paintings are
executed in acrylic paint on transparent mylar, and feature splashes and
splatters from a very dynamic application of the paint with large
house-painter’s brushes. I work on both sides of the surface. There are
subtle pencil and ink marks which I use to suggest three-dimensionality of
the swirling particle traces.
I am at the beginning
stages of developing a formal vocabulary for these pieces, in which
different parts of the theory of subatomic particles correspond to specific
formal elements of the paintings. I have been reengaging with the theory of
the Standard Model, and studying the technical results from colliders like
the LHC. In this exploration I am aided by my original undergraduate degree
as a physicist. Although a complete understanding of these theories
requires a long journey of graduate study, I am still inspired to try to
visualize particles in a new way.
Some of the paintings
depict particle interactions that can be described with simple Feynman
diagrams. Particles #20 (Beta Decay) shows a neutron decaying into a
proton plus a short-lived W- particle, which nearly immediately
decays into an electron and an electron neutrino. Other paintings suggest
much more complex processes that might arise in the extremely high-energy
collisions of an accelerator like the LHC, where the huge energies of the
collider particles can allow the creation of many virtual particles, which
then spawn jets of subsequent particles as they decay to more ordinary