Amazing Stories

Asni’s Art Blog: Interview with Fractal Artist Johan Andersson

Johan Andersson is a surreal painter and sculptor from Sweden, who became a pioneer in the 3D fractal art world and 3D printed fractals after the discovery of the mandelbulb in 2009.
image © Johan Andersson

The Creation of Time, by Johan Andersson. Image copyright Johan Andersson

Johan Andersson is a surreal painter and sculptor from Sweden, who became a pioneer in the 3D fractal art world and 3D printed fractals after the discovery of the mandelbulb in 2009. His work has been exhibited in a pioneering exhibition of fractal art at the Värmlands Museum in Karlstad in 2012, which received quite a bit of attention from the press and the public.

I can’t pretend that I understand the first thing about the mathematics that take things like the Mandelbrot set into three dimensional space. There is no canonical – that is, unique – 3 dimensional analogue to the Mandelbrot set, since the mathematics in 3 dimensional space are quite different (or so Wikipedia tells me), but there is an object called the Mandelbulb, which seems to have the same iconic status for 3D fractal art, as the Mandelbrot and Julia sets have for 2D. However that may be, the resulting images sure are mesmerizing! But, let’s hear it from the expert.

image © Johan Andersson

Basilica of Holographic Projections, by Johan Andersson. Image copyright Johan Andersson

image © Johan Andersson

Fractalic Rhinoceros Lacemaker, by Johan Andersson. Image copyright Johan Andersson

image © Johan Andersson

Basket of bread, by Johan Andersson. Image copyright Johan Andersson

Astrid Nielsch for Amazing Stories: What attracted you to fractal art? How did you get involved?

Johan Andersson: “Before the discovery of the Mandelbulb, fractal art to me was mostly about infinite zooms into the fascinating mandelbrot set, and it’s colorful, triply spirals. I loved it, (always loved the feeling of infinity) but I never saw any use for it in my art. The Mandelbulb however changed everything. It really fueled my imagination.”

ASM: What are your artistic influences?

JA: “All the big artists, from Vermeer to Picasso, but most of all the Surrealists, Dalí, Tanguy, Ernst, Magritte… ”

image © Johan Andersson

ceci n’est pas une reflexion, by Johan Andersson. Image copyright Johan Andersson

ASM: Do you collaborate with other artists and/or programmers – on the internet or locally in Sweden – or is this more of a solitary pursuit?

JA: “I am definitely a solitary Artist, but the exchange with the mathematicians and programmers at fractalforums.com has meant everything, without them I would not be where I am today with my art.
I had a close collaboration with Jesse during the development of Mandelbulb 3D.
Thank you all!!!”

image © Johan Andersson

GOD’s DICE – 3D printed in Steel, by Johan Andersson. Image copyright Johan Andersson

ASM: Do you find there is much of a “market” for your art – e.g. selling prints, or the jewelery you do – or do you think this genre is too new to attract art collectors as yet?

JA: “It is hard to make a living of for sure, but the exhibition at the museum in Karlstad gave me some extra income which I could invest in the 3D printed sculptures and jewelry. I am selling some 3D prints, and soon I am on break even :)”

“Actually I think it is easier to sell fractal 3D prints than selling printed images, but that might be in my case. ”

I would like to include credits to fractalforum (where it all started) * * Paul Nylander * Daniel White & co on Skytopia * Tom Lowe and his Mandelbox * Luca G. aka dark-beam, a student from Italy who "provides new formulas by the day" * and of course Benoit Mandelbrot, the man himself who came up with the whole concept of fractal mathematics.

More of Johan Andersson’s work can be viewed in his Deviantart gallery. 3D prints are available in his online shop on Shapeways.

image © Johan Andersson

Fractalic Mystical Portrait of Queen Elizabeth I, by Johan Andersson. Image copyright Johan Andersson

image © Johan Andersson

Double apparition of Louis XIV in the Miniminibulb, by Johan Andersson. Image copyright Johan Andersson

image © Johan Andersson

Tumorous Ecstasy, by Johan Andersson. Image copyright Johan Andersson

image © Johan Andersson

Neurotic busyness supper, by Johan Andersson. Image copyright Johan Andersson

image © Johan Andersson

Cosmic Clockwork Core Mechanic, by Johan Andersson. Image copyright Johan Andersson

image © Johan Andersson

Third Millennium Ark, by Johan Andersson. Image copyright Johan Andersson

image © Johan Andersson

To the depths of the ocean where all hopes sank…, by Johan Andersson. Image copyright Johan Andersson

image © Johan Andersson

The MOTHER the Son and the Moon and the DNA, by Johan Andersson. Image copyright Johan Andersson

The images on this blog may not be reproduced without the permission of the artist or the respective copyright holder.

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