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Eric Heller
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artist statement | technical statement | process



artist statement
There is no need to be an expert in celestial mechanics to marvel at a lunar eclipse. Few can look at a space telescope images with hundreds of galaxies without a passing though about our place in the universe. Indeed, astronomy enjoys an immediate visual accessibility and appeal that most physical sciences do not. I view my role as an artist-scientist as attempting to make the mystery and beauty of other aspects of nature more apparent to non-specialists. My subjects come from what I know best, those fields where I do research: quantum mechanics, chaos theory, nanoscale physics and chemical physics.

Science these days generates many beautiful images. But the scientific illustrations must put science first. My images do not attempt so much to teach or to convey information as to convey the emotion of discovery, of knowing nature at her deeper levels. My computer-generated images are based on science, but the scenes are created rather than found. My work uses diverse physical phenomena as a medium for painting scenes that seem somehow familiar. The familiarity banks heavily on nature's passion for repeating herself. It is key to the emotional engagement I hope to achieve.