Psychedelic Art and Fractal Designs

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Julia set 3d pictures

Fractal artwork, a kind of Psychedelic Art, created using the Julia set (pictures inlaid in field lines)

The picture depicts a Fractal Art work that can be described as Psychedelic Art. These are high-impact visuals that have the potential to alter the state of mind of the viewers, no matter whether the viewers understand what is depicted in the art or not. But if they look at the art, they are unknowingly transported to a different world that makes them experience a totally different state of mind. Any kind of visual art that produces this effect can be Psychedelic Art.

Though the arts and designs themselves give the impression that these are the most modern developments in the art of the late twentieth century, it does not mean that these are new inventions by the artists themselves by integrating science and technology (especially computer graphics) into their art. In fact these are as ancient as the nature itself. Examples are: the patterns on the skins of some snakes, the patterns formed on pine apples, the structure of the leaves of ferns, etc.

As far as the psychological or psychedelic experiences are concerned, the same mood shifts are generated in the mind when a person looks into a very deep well, down from a very tall cliff, or even when looking at the far end of a straight tunnel to view the point-sized light source.

But, generally, in art, Psychedelic Art means a movement that developed as a popular art form in the late 1960’s counterculture, the fantasy world of the hippies and sometimes to the drugs-induced hallucinations. So, it not only is typical of visual arts, but it crossed the traditional frontiers of fine arts and encroached upon commercial and technical uses of art also.

Some of the early artists who substantially contributed for the development of Psychedelic Art were Alton Kelley (rock concerts and music albums), Bridget Riley (Op art paintings of psychedelic optical illusions), Milton Glaser (posters for music concerts, logos), Peter Max (posters, music concerts, advertising), Rick Griffin (posters, underground comix), Victor Moscoso (rock music and advertisements), Warren Dayton (T-shirts as art, corporate branding and logos), and Wes Wilson (psychedelic posters).

And some of the artists used highly saturated colors in blindingly glaring contrast, concentric and symmetrical compositions, collages, distortions, bizarre iconography, vast expanse of monotonous uniform colors, lines, curves and pure geometric forms to create the desired effects.

The development of Computer Art (or digital art and graphics generated by computers) has further helped to evolve new frontiers of psychedelic visual effects. For instance software that is used to generate fractals can also produce psychedelic hallucinatory patterns.

The image above has been created using the Julia set, which along with the Fatou set, both being complementary in defining functions in complex dynamics, a branch of mathematics. But these have been extensively used to create art, especially Pop Art, Psychedelic Art, set and special effects designs for stage shows and movies, and many more similar applications. The final output of these to the viewers is neither technology, nor mathematics, but art!

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