Denver artist Monica Petty Aiello, one of the stars of the Fine Art Center's NASA | Art: 50 Years of Exploration, studies her muses closely. But after she's put in her time with scientific experts, she does take plenty of creative liberties.
“I am not a space artist, I’m a contemporary artist,” she says.
Not just anyone would go this far to analyze his or her inspirations. Petty Aiello has coined the term "cosmorphology" to describe the patterns of shapes between the very small and very large.
“There’s this whole connection between forms that are very universal, so you can see similar forms repeating in the universe, whether it’s a microscopic or a macrocosmic level," she says. "And I like playing with that idea."
You can see it within the core of much of her work.
Day trips to Denver's Museum of Nature and Science helped awaken her fascination with space and the cosmos. Taking her children to see the exhibits, Petty Aiello says, "reinvigorated" her passion for the sciences, one that began in her own childhood within a family of computer scientists and mathematicians.
For more on Petty Aiello, catch her lecture at the FAC on Feb. 13.