Briar Rantilla, like any artist, has always sought out the most innovative and original methods of creating art. Rantilla says he got this concept from the teaching of the Greek philosopher Plato.
“Plato wrote about art saying how it would eventually become a copy of something else. And because of that, I have always tried to be non-representational with my art so it can’t be interpreted as something else,” said Rantilla.
Rantilla got started at a young age, but it wasn’t drawing that caught his interest in art it was film.
“When I was nine, I would plan films to make with my uncle when he would visit with his camera,” said Rantilla.
When Rantilla went to KentStateUniversity for his art degree, his course work only allowed him to focus in oil painting. But Rantilla still found a way to better his film skills.
“The journalism department had cameras that we could borrow and editing software and stuff. And there was a professor there I used to hang out with and he would teach me how to use them,” said Rantilla.
After college Rantilla began experimenting with various styles with his painting. Never going fully abstract, but not really painting in a realistic style either. It wasn’t until he began thinking about canvas sizes that he had a breakthrough.
“I began wondering, ‘Why are canvases the sizes they are?’ That’s when I started reading about the Fibonacci chain and the golden ratio,” said Rantilla.
The Fibonacci chain is a mathematical sequence in which every number is the sum of the two numbers preceding it. When put into effect, a spiral is created by joining all the corners of all the squares together.
It was then Rantilla turned artistic music to geometric shapes and Euclidian geometry.
“It goes back to Plato and what he said about copying other artists, which I had trouble with when I was in college, and since these shapes are based in math and are known figures, you can’t copy them,” Rantilla said.
But Rantilla doesn’t use a specific mathematical property to begin an art project; he just goes with the flow.
“I don’t actively sit down and say ‘all right, I’m going to sit down and use this method for this piece,’ I just go ‘oh wow, this looks really cool, let me try this,’ and I just riff off of it,” Rantilla said.
One of the most used shapes in Rantilla’s artwork is the hexagon.
“I’ve been doing a photography project were I’ve been going around and taking pictures of gumballs in gumball machines. Because they’re all the same size and they naturally create a hexagon. It’s also a shape that occurs naturally in snowflakes, which is something I also like to photograph,” said Rantilla.
Rantilla also uses this style in his video work for his band Rebreather, which he’s working on new visual material for the bands performance in August. You can also see Rantilla’s artwork as a mural in Warren.
While art isn’t his full time job, it’s still a major part of Rantilla’s life. And although he doesn’t get to participate in a lot of art shows, he still has lots of project he’s working on.
“It’s become too much a part of my life for me to just stop now. It’s become a big part of my identity. But I’m working on a few paintings now, and I’m working on a stop-motion project detailing some of my art projects.”
The following are examples of Rantilla’s visual art: