CARL VAN BRUNT
I have been making digital art since 1981. Before that I painted on canvas: first in oil and later in acrylic. I think of my digital art as an outgrowth of my painting experience. Both my prints and my animations are in essence digital paintings.
My work shown in the Magical Thinking exhibition is representative of my abstract style (with the exception of Kuntazampo’s Seat). I work in other ways– containing elements of abstraction and representation and on occasion photography– examples of which can be found on Instagram, Facebook, and my blog: carlvanbruntart.blogspot.com which has over 200 jpegs of selected works going back to 2008.
I have been a practicing Buddhist for many years and this is manifested in my work. I also am influenced by artists like Jackson Pollock and Philip Guston; to name two out of many others past and present some of whom currently live in the Hudson Valley and who I am blessed to call my friends. Another big influence is Black American Classical Music particularly the work of John Coltrane, Miles Davis, and Thelonius Monk. I would also like to thank Ben Neill, composer of and performer on all the music that is used in the animations on view. Ben’s music can be found on Apple Music, Spotify, and YouTube.
Both my prints and my animations are improvised and essentially meditative in nature. My process is one of discovery. I don’t think of myself as someone who creates things, but as someone who uses tools to discover what is already there waiting to be revealed. One of the most important of these tools is fractal geometry though I am not in any way shape or form a mathematician. Fortunately artist innovators like Scott Draves have developed algorithms that enable artists to explore visual fractal pattern possibilities and make use of them in their work. All the work in this show employs fractal generating software in one way or another.
The fractal patterns I discover are generated in a software called Chaotica and are then manipulated by me in Photoshop, Adobe Premiere Pro and in some cases Adobe After Effects.
I am happy to discuss any of the above in more detail with anyone who is interested. Feel free to email me at with any questions you may have. I am also happy to discuss things you see in my work that you wish to share or know more about. I am a great believer in the enlightening power of dialogue. That said I’d prefer not to comment in this statement about the specifics of any given piece because I am above all trying to express the beauty of open mind and have no wish to limit the discoveries you may make while experiencing my art. As the great American Buddhist teacher Lama Surya Das often says, “Enjoy the View.” I hope you do.
I once read a text entitled “The Yoga of the Great Symbol.” I don't claim to have comprehended it completely, but one concept in the book has stuck with me over the years, namely "the union of the moving and the non-moving." One way of thinking about this mind bending concept is in terms of time and timelessness. I guess the key point is that from the point of view expressed in the text, neither of this pair of opposites describes ultimate reality which can not be conceptualized.
A few years back, someone posted a video on Facebook in which a scientist described the formation of complex molecules in the explosions of stars, super novas. The conclusion the scientist presented is that we are made of stars. The science is fascinating, but the conclusion can be considered as simplistic from a Buddhist point of view. Our bodies and minds may very well be made of the residue of stellar dust, but to paraphrase Thich Nhat Hanh, we are neither the same as stars, nor different. Reducing reality to one fixed concept or another, even a lovely poetic one, is a limit on the freedom of open mind. I could say we are all manifestations of limitless, interrelated cosmos, but that's just another concept.