(Left) Raphael, (1509-1511) Plato and Aristotle, (detail), The School of Athens, Vatican. (Right) Meg Black (2015) Energy Wall Relief, maquette for Call for Proposals.
As an artist and art historian, I find inspiration in historical works of art and use that inspiration to influence my own efforts. In this way, I connect my own ideas to the great artists whose ideas have come down to us through the ages.
For a recent call for proposals for an energy company, I considered The School of Athens by Raphael, (Fresco, 1509-1511, Stanza della Segnatura, Papal Palace, Vatican), specifically the figures of Plato and Aristotle who occupy the center of the composition. The stances of two men suggest they are engaged in a lively discussion. Plato, the older of the two, points upward to symbolize his theory that all knowledge is ethereal and cannot be seen, only eluded to through mathematical theorems. His robe is red (the color of fire) and purple (the color of air) to visually symbolize his theory. Aristotle, Plato’s pupil and the son of a biologist, points toward earth to symbolize his idea that true knowledge comes from observation and scientific research. His robe is blue (the color of water) and brown (the color of earth). They are surrounded by a community of philosophers (philosophy included the sciences at this time) who share and debate ideas, all within an arched portico, an engineering and mathematical marvel of beauty and proportion.
Raphael’s idea to use color to symbolize energy, the vibrancy of his figures to suggest communication and the flow of the composition to suggest movement are inherent in the sketches I submitted for this proposal.
The company produces energy from a variety of sources including solar, wind, fossil fuels and hydraulics. The colors and shape of the logo, ribbons of orange, green and blue, visually represent the company’s mission to maximize the potential of energy to create a brighter, more sustainable future.
I incorporated into my sketches images of solar, wind, fossil fuel and hydraulic energy sources along with ribbons of orange, green and blue into a composition that is flowing, twisting and vibrant. This collaboration of colors and shapes engages the viewer in a play of motion and energy, symbolic of the campany’s mission.
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