Fragments of a Wave
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frag·ment, noun, a small part broken or separated off something.

wave, noun, a sudden occurrence of or increase in a specified phenomenon, feeling, or emotion.

Fragments of a Wave is a groundbreaking series by Ryan Bell whose title makes you pause after seeing the artwork. After all, a wave in its liquid form never breaks into the angulated, jagged pieces this collection immediately confronts us with.

Thus, Fragments requires us to delve deeper into our fractal imaginations. Could it be a wave frozen at a single point in time, illuminated by light reflecting a full spectrum of color? Or could it be a fragment of light bending through a crystal, creating moments of luminosity that bring us back to interstellar remembrances?

Fragments of a Wave #392
Fragments of a Wave #392

Fragments’ undulating waves are as uncanny as they are accessible. The bold, harsh, geometric shapes are contoured and defined with long switchback curves. The results evoke rare gems, landscapes, and three-dimensional psychedelic switchback trails, causing collector @chilltupa to describe their output as “…a beautiful canyon of crayons cascading into the clouds.”

Twelve different palettes combine with traits like size and curve to create significant divergences. Given that, the sheer variety of shapes and detail that form this collection requires the viewer to take their time and view not just one piece in the set but multiple iterations to get their bearings.

Fragments of a Wave #255
Fragments of a Wave #255

Fragments of a Wave #249, #37, and #44
Fragments of a Wave #249, #37, and #44

Fragments of a Wave #435
Fragments of a Wave #435

According to Ryan Bell, the inspiration for the work came from trying to visualize wave streamlines using triangulation and custom trigonometry. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of streamlines, they’re essentially groups of curves that indicate a fluid’s direction of travel. So, even though the Fragments of a Wave title plays on seemingly opposing terms, physics tells us that fragments refer to particles of waves, or fragments of a continuous movement.

Fragments are like precious gemstones; the more you stare at them, the more beautiful they become. They even have a hidden secret. You can download a high-res version of any fragment with a few coding commands, then zoom in to behold the beauty within.

Fragments of a Wave #187
Fragments of a Wave #187

Fragments of a Wave #120 and #184
Fragments of a Wave #120 and #184

However, if you choose to zoom in, be careful — viewing a fragment of a fragment is an emotional experience that’s both humbling and mystifying.

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