Michai Mathieu Morin

My story: I am a self-taught artist, a lifelong student of the sciences, an inventor, a ponderer, builder, and tinkerer.  I am a Father and Husband with high functioning Asperger Syndrome.  It is something that makes me unique and I appreciate who I have become.  In a world where no one understands how or why anything works in the manner it does, I cant help but ask the why and the how. 

I grew up with an extreme fascination of the hard sciences.  As a child, much to the irritation of my father, I would take apart pretty much everything to observe how it functioned.  Some of my earliest large non-fiction books I read were on quantum mechanics and artificial intelligence.  I also have a deep interest in ancient history and cultural origins (a common thread found throughout my work).      

Prior to college I attended advanced Mathematics and Science programs for gifted students.  I drowned myself in the topics of astronomy, physics, and computer engineering.  In my early teens my art was just a hobby but I did learn that I had a natural eye for the aesthetic.  After High School, I studied astrophysics in college for a very short period but that ended abruptly due mostly to my youthful attention span.  I subsequently left the US during my first year of college and at 19, traveled Europe and the Middle East.  In my travels I became acquainted with the Art of cooking.  This led me to return to the US and after both a Culinary certification and a Business degree, I started a rather successful career as an Executive Chef.  As a Chef I worked in cities like Washington DC, Baltimore, Portland, Philadelphia, and Arlington to name a few.  I even won a few awards.  However, nothing last forever and I eventually grew bored of the industry and decided to go back to college again where I studied Policy at Penn State. After Penn State I moved back to Maine and got a job for the State as a Law Enforcement Officer, where I continue to work.

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My Art: It is difficult to describe my preferred medium.  If so pressed, I would describe my art as Abstract Digital Sculpture.  I enjoy making scenes that play with light, refraction, shape, material, and contrast.  I like to think my work invokes a sense of wonder and mystery of what lies just outside the rendered display and the viewer's perspective. 

I love curves and the natural beauty of spheres.  I am fascinated by how light plays on their surface and how it's manipulated when traveling through them.  This is why they are found in many of my pieces.  I have also studied human vision, artistic composition,and have researched optical psychology to a degree that I'm certain very few non professionals have achieved.  I use this garnered knowledge to enhance my work and to create pieces that both visually and mentally stimulate the viewer.  

I chose, or didn’t choose depending on perspective, to use digital art as my medium mostly because of my early interest in computers and my inability to maintain fine motor movements.  I have been building computers since the early 90's and that's when I found my creative outlet in digital art.  I build my computers that render my art from the ground up one component at a time. The power and heat generated from rendering my work require me to build custom liquid cooling systems to keep the graphics and computer processing units from overheating. I enjoy employing the math and problem solving needed to construct my computers.  That includes airflow physics, computational timing, power supply delivery, and the aesthetics of the physical computer itself.  I consider it the art behind my art.         

A day in the studio involves sketching out some ideas with pen and paper based on a topic that I've been thinking about.  My goal is always to ensure my work somehow represents my internal thought process through shape, contrast, illusion, and emotional tone. Once I have put together a sketch that I wish to sculpt I begin to shape out a digital scene using 3d editing software.  If I am lucky I'm able to accurately replicate my original sketch in the 3d workspace.  This process of digital sculpting can take several days to weeks before I feel it is at a point where I can render it at the resolutions that all of my work is displayed.  Once I begin the rendering process, not unlike the firing process of ceramics, I don't know how it will actually come out after the process of rendering is complete.  A large complex piece can take several weeks of non stop rendering (process of automatically converting 3D wire frame models into 2D images) even with my abnormally powerful computer.  It's not unusual for me to end up scrapping many weeks worth of work because the final render did not meet my expectations.  Frustrating, but it keeps my work at a level of quality that I consider acceptable.  Once the render has completed and it passes my judgment, I edit the image in Photoshop to correct any issues that occurred during the digital reconstruction.  I also use this editing time to gently highlight areas that I want to stand out.  Eventually I have a ultra high resolution piece that is ready for print.  The completed file is then put through a complex analysis to see how large I can physically print it at a DPI level I believe will be the best to showcase my art.  With the physical dimensions now in hand I send the image file to my print manufacturer in Germany who prints my work on the highest quality archival medium and fuses it directly behind large acrylic glass panels and finally backs them with thin Dibond substrate for stability.         

I like to believe that my work is the marriage of the physical technologies around us and the visual beauty of abstract art. As an artist I find myself growing and learning rapidly.  Being creative in any manner brings me so much joy and now as I grow older I fully understand the importance of happiness in life.  I cherish the reflection of self I have during the process of creation and I equally love sharing my work with others.  

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  "The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery."

- Francis Bacon 

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