Tony Orrico: Human Spirograph®

You may remember my post  Spirograph Cartel about Istanbul’s spinning street vendors?  Or perhaps you enjoyed Really BIG Circlesabout one of my favorite Circle Makers, Jim Denevan, who makes sand and ice drawings visible from space?

Well, there’s a new kid on the block. Meet Tony Orrico and his ‘anthropometric performance drawings’.

From Orrico’s website:

He explores the limitation of (or the spontaneous navigation within) the sphere of his outstretched arms, considering themes of repetition, locomotion, refraction, and eventual exhaustion.

Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans, all used the body as a key source for measurement.

(Why do you think we call them FEET?)  Here is a fascinating list of units of measure based on body parts. 

Tony channels Leonardo’s Vitruvian man. This is the nature of our human bodies, we are the original compass!

The post below is courtesy of Maria Popova, re-blogged from her very cool site: Brain Pickings (see links at the end).
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Mock-mathematics, or how to turn the human body into a graceful precision instrument.

Tony Orrico — artist, dancer, human spirograph. He creates remarkable large-scale mock-mathematical drawings with a savant’s focus and a marathoner’s endurance, sometimes drawing for up to four hours continuously, hitting our soft spot for the intersection of art and mathematics with delicious precision.

See him in action and marvel.

What makes Orrico’s art most remarkable is the complete grace and fluidity with which he renders seemingly mechanical drawings, transforming the human body at once into a precision instrument and a delicate paintbrush of the abstract.

Watch him work his magic at the National Academy of Sciences in D.C.:

via Brain Pickings and BOOOOOOOM

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Finally, as my friend Marta observed:

“I like Tony’s work cause he can stop and take a nap and then continue working….not bad.”

5 Responses to “Tony Orrico: Human Spirograph®”
  1. atsthp says:

    lillian, you have such a nose (eye?) for discovering and sharing artwork i love but would not have known about if i didn’t read your blog. tony orrico is brilliant. kudos to you both. xxxooo, pam turczyn

    ps) i am imagining blissing out in a museum where you have chosen all the artwork and have covered the floors with your mosaics.

  2. Allan Punton says:

    Orrico’s art is intriguing and thanks for the references in the article. There is a very readable book on Leonardo’s Vitruvian Man, ‘DaVinci’s Ghost’ by Toby Lester.

    Oh, you forgot to mention Homer Simpson’s attempt at human circle drawing in the snow.


    • sfmosaic says:

      thanks for the book suggestion Allan! I wasn’t aware that Homer was also a circle maker, so thanks for that too! I’ll have to head to youtube and find the episode. 😉

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