From an early age, Cortellini cultivated more than a superficial understanding of the Sciences and the Humanities. While understanding can be appreciated solely for its own sake, it becomes truly fulfilling when it is applied in bringing new and wondrous things into the world. Thus he is fond of saying that he lives “life as an art project.”
In the 1970s he discovered and became fascinated by holography. Over the course of a couple of years, he studied the science, traveled to New York to meet the major players, and developed a concept for a major holographic work which he presented to the Indianapolis Children’s Museum. Intermingled with teaching Architectural Technology and practicing architecture, he continued to survey literature for the fresh and the new.
In the subsequent decade, he executed a suite of serigraphs under the title of “Complexity” - his first attempt at creating visual images of the “Complexity” process. Then he became aware of Fractals through an article which appeared in Scientific American and recognized that these were indeed the true portraits of Complexity.
He studied the math, taught himself how to program and was soon able to generate his own Fractals. With some sketches he traveled to New York and met with Dr. Benoit Madelbrot, the mathematician who discovered Fractals. Subsequently he created a large paper Fractal work that was dedicated to Dr. Mandelbrot and placed in the Grand Lobby of Clowes Memorial Hall of Butler University in Indianapolis – where it remains to this day.
At the turn of the Century, Cortellini became aware of the social and environmental issues developing in our and other cultures. Could art apply here? He researched the Slow Food movement then founded the
Indianapolis chapter; Slow Food Indy. In his architectural practice, he studied sustainable building practices, joined the Green Building Council, and became a LEED accredited professional.
Subsequently he became an activist for sustainability in his community. He studied community building and founded Green Broad Ripple in order to influence his community to move towards a more
sustainable way of life. This culminated in a political run for a seat on the Indianapolis City County Council and after losing, He threw his hat in the ring for the position of Mayor.
At this point he began to realize that in politics, he was no longer living “life as an art project.” Today he has returned to his art with a renewed focus on Fractals. He is developing projects that incorporate all the
understandings that have accumulated in his experience. This is great fun. However, you might already have guessed that he is also energetically perusing publications and the internet for the next fresh and new idea.
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