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Hands and Symmetry

Last weekend I took a stroll through the Lower East Side and happened into McKenzie Fine Art, where the current exhibit is “Homeostasis” by Judith Braun. From the sidewalk I could see only that the work was quite detailed, and this drew me in.

One side of the room was hung with many small drawings, while on the opposite side, the wall itself was painted in a large symmetrical design. The gallerist was in in mid-conversation with another visitor, “Most people don’t understand what it is….they think it’s computer generated, but it’s all hand-drawn in graphite”.

When I stepped in closer to examine the framed drawings I started to appreciate the near-perfection of their elegant symmetries. The same thing could be done with 100% accuracy by Photoshop, but this was all created by a human hand. I imagined attempting to draw one of these sweeping curves---so far so good. Then I tried to imagine the fine motor control I’d need in order to mirror that.