Jody Rasch is a New York-area artist whose work is based on themes from astronomy, biology, physics and spectra. Rasch transforms scientific images from radio astronomy, electron microscopy, particle accelerators and individual element’s spectrum, discovering their underlying patterns and working with color and design to create work that is both representational and abstract. Rasch edits and transforms the scientists’ images, yet his images remain representative of what the scientist would see and recognize. The scale of the actual images contrasts with the size of the artwork: the biological and physics images are massively enlarged and the astronomical images are equally drastically reduced. The goal is to bring the images to a more human scale so that the viewer can relate to the real elements that make up our world and universe. The artist incorporates gold in many of his works. This is drawn from medieval paintings in which artists painted religious figures with gold halos or utilized a gold background. For Rasch, the gold symbolizes science taking over from religion as the explanation for why things are the way they are. He utilizes a variety of techniques and media, including oil, acrylic paint, pastels, colored pencil and pen/ink.
Making the unseen/seen is a predominant theme in Rasch’s work. The work is an expression of both the patterns of the natural world and the metaphors underlying modern science. His art allows us to find knowledge in the unknown, to observe the unseen to more clearly see our world. By exploring the invisible, Rasch invites the observer to look beyond the “seen” to appreciate the beauty and mystery of the “unseen.” His art challenges us to explore the world around us.
“I had always been interested in science, particularly physics, and read a lot about relativity and particle physics. The realm of particle physics is like discovering a new philosophy. Particles can be everywhere at once and can both be waves or particles, depending on how we observe them. In particle physics, nothing is certain. Physics tries to answer the big questions on the nature of the universe. I wanted to find a way to represent these concepts in my art. Some of the images I use are of bubble chambers, where atoms are broken down into subatomic particles, each with its own mass and charge, which make different paths in the bubble chamber. I try to incorporate these themes into the images by using phrases from particle physics such as “User Created Reality” or formulas such as the one for Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle. The patterns are beautiful, and seem like abstract patterns if one didn’t know what the subject matter is.
The exhibition also includes three works on gravitational lensing which are based on the work Fermilab is doing to discover both dark matter and dark energy. The dark matter acts as a lens to bend visible light. Even though dark matter cannot be seen, it does have a gravitational effect that impacts the amount the visible light that is bent. I also wanted to include two recent spectra pieces, as the energy released by a particle is based on the energy levels of the electrons. Based on quantum physics, electrons have defined energy levels, which creates the emission or absorption lines observed in the spectra.”
– Jody Rasch
Jody Rasch is represented by Lamina Project.
For more information about the artist and his practice, visit https://www.laminaproject.com