Fractal Expressionism


Christopher Barklem

The story of

Fractal Expressionism

12/2019 - 03/2020

Fractal expressionism implies a direct expression of nature’s patterns in an artwork. The study by Richard J. K. Taylor called “Fractal Expressionism—Where Art Meets Science.” shows that the repeated movement in Fractal Expressionism artwork such as Jackson Pollocks painting “Blue Poles” is created instinctively by the artist.

In this series “Fractal Expressionism” by the artist Chris Barklem, the artist investigates the methods of Jackson Pollock and develops a modern approach to “Fractal Expressionism” with acrylic paints. 

In the 1950s in the United States, Jackson Pollock used alkyd enamels, which could be purchased easily at any hardware store. The alkyd enamel paint was designed for use on exterior and interior woodwork like doors and windows. Jackson altered the already quit liquid state by using thinners. This resulted in a paint that could be poured, run, or dripped from objects like wooden paintbrush handles, sticks, and old stiff paintbrushes.

The alkyd enamels or latex enamels (the most common household paints) are not very flexible, are prone to cracking, crazing, and fading. In this series, the artist wanted to use professional artist paints. The paint needed to be fluid, flexible, and hold its color over time. It is because of this reason that the artist used a combination of professional acrylics, professional mediums, and professional pouring agents. The result was a paint that was vibrant in color, contained a durable gloss varnish, flowed well, flattened well, and remained flexible.

The series investigates the relationship between fractal formations and color. Over the series, the artist examined backgrounds from light to dark, with a plethora of color combinations. Sizes range from 45cm to 210cm, flat canvas, and stretched canvas.

Artwork in this series