Faithful readers of this Blog (at least 5 people) might remember my first cover for "Telecommunications" magazine, in which I depicted a symbolic landscape of networked machines in a smoggy California sunset. This piece is my second cover for that magazine, painted in November 1986. It was created from the art director's assignment to depict a network of fiber optic lines and switches. The sparkles in the picture represent the switches. The squares in the background were inspired by the paintings of Josef Albers, who painted the experimental color series "Homage to the Square." The magazine logo and article titles went over the empty upper part of the picture. The pattern here also is reminiscent of a mandala, a centralized prayer image from Hinduism or Buddhism.
This image of the piece was taken under flash light indoors, so some color richness has been lost. The background, painted in airbrush, was really dark purple. For the blog image, I've added some of the purple back in Photoshop. Even in 1986, it was possible to do this pattern using digital media. It was at the very beginning of commercial digital art. But I wouldn't start using digital media until 1991. Unfortunately, I didn't get any more covers for the magazine, which disappeared a couple of years later.
"Optical Switching Mandala," 13" x 15". Acrylic on heavy Bristol board, November 1986, published December 1986.