Artist Pick: Gary Anthes & Langley Spurlock

Radon 86, Langley Spurlock & John Martin Tarrat. Click image to enlarge. Inquire.

You’ve probably seen our monthly Staff Pick posts on our Instagram page. Now, we’re asking our Studio Gallery artists to choose their favorite pieces and tell us what they love about them.

Artist photographer Gary Anthes writes his reflections on why this piece, Radon 86 by Langley Spurlock & John Martin Tarrat, captured his attention.

Hydrogen, Oxygen, and Dysprosium, Oh, My!

A Window on the Universe

Richard Feynman, the late Nobel Prize-winning physicist, famously rebutted the argument that art and science are at odds. In an essay, he called “kind of nutty” a friend's assertion that a scientist couldn't truly appreciate the beauty in a flower because he knew too much about its chemistry and biology.  A knowledge of science can “only add” to the beauty of the flower, Feynman said.

For a seamless and, indeed, beautiful union of art and science, look no further than the stunning series of works, Secrets of the Elements, by Studio Gallery artist Langley Spurlock and poet John Martin Tarrat. The five-part, 15-year collaboration will be completed this year, having produced 118 multi-media artworks, one for each element of the periodic table. For example, Radon 86, a heavy gas known to cause lung cancer, assumes the form of a fiendishly grinning Dr. Seuss-like figure, possibly a vulture, peering out of a waterfall. An embedded, cascading Haiku ends with, “Ahhh! my liquid sunshine.” Enigmatic. Creepy. Wonderful.

In these works, image and verse are not presented as picture and caption, “but as one integrated entity -- with a life and a voice all its own,” the creators say. “The result is a window on the world and the universe.”

From Studio Gallery artist Gary Anthes