Jim Modiano

Many artists talk about the process of their work, and many describe the process as more important than the result. Jim Modiano is surely one of few who describe creating a painting . . . in terms of seeking randomization or the nature of self-organizing organisms.
But then not many artists trained and worked as a developmental biologist at the University of California, Berkeley. He left the lab in disappointment . . . when biological research turned away from integrated theory and went “completely molecular . . .” He's been making art since then . . . [and] has developed from a painter of expressionistic landscapes to the abstract artist he is today.
“People say to me, 'All that education and you don't use it.' But I do use it; I use it every day. My whole vision is a transferring the empirical science to empirical studio work. When a person is fortunate enough to see a secret of nature — that it is basically self-organizing — that just gives me a lot of confidence in what I am doing. My primary motivation is the sanctity of life and our responsibility to safeguard the environment that supports it,” Modiano explained further.
“Ecology teaches us that the biosphere is a vast web of interrelationships functioning across many scales and levels of organization,” Modiano continued. “What is intriguing and of profound significance is that nature's networks form solely on the basis of the individuals' propensity to interact. They are self-organizing.”
What he strives for, Modiano added, is paintings that are essentially self-organizing to the viewers' eyes and psyches. “There is no fixed orientation to the work, no preferential viewing point," he said of his composed abstracts. "As you view it over time, what is important


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