“There are multiple dimensions that I am trying to communicate in my work, but mostly I want the observer to begin to question what he/she believes. For me, the exploration of the concepts behind the work is the most interesting. It allows me to question my beliefs, to think about the true nature of things, and I challenge myself to look past what is in front of me. This is what I mean by ‘unseen/seen’. As I translate the science concepts onto paper or canvas or board, I get a greater appreciation for the beauty of the things we cannot see and how mysterious our universe really is. That is what I want to explore and communicate to the observer: look beyond what you see and discover a richer more interesting universe.” – Jody Rasch, Dec. 2015
Jody Rasch is a New York-based artist who explores the duality of nature through science and art. Abstraction and representation, the literal and the metaphorical, science and mysticism, the unseen and the seen, are predominant themes in his work. Rasch’s works focus in four main areas, Astronomy, Biology, Physics, and Spectra. His pieces, based on electron microscopy, particle accelerators, and radio astronomy are an expression of both the patterns of the natural world and the metaphors underlying modern science. They allow us to see the beauty in the repulsive, to find knowledge in the unknown, to observe the unseen to more clearly see our world.
Rasch has always had a keen interest in science. Much of what is contained in this subject seems fantastical, such as the relativity of space and time, and the fact that light can act both as a particle and wave. Science tries to answer the big questions in the nature of the universe, and Rasch wanted to find a way to represent these concepts in his art. Gradually he moved from physics, to capturing images from radio astronomy, and finally to electron microscopic images from biology. The similarity among these disciplines was that he was painting patterns, from a cell pattern or the pattern from the non–visible radio frequencies of a neutron star. The patterns are beautiful, and if one doesn’t know what the subject matter was, it appears to be an abstract pattern. The images themselves seem to be abstractions but are in fact representational. Jody uses a variety of techniques and media, including oils, acrylic paint and ink, colored pencil, and pastels. Many of his works use his own variation of pointillism in their construction. Large paintings may use tiny brush strokes and many of the large drawings use small lines to build them up. In these works, the observer’s eye blends the colors and positive and negative shapes together.