From WIRED: Tom Shannon’s paintings bustle with life — neon polymers suggest rampant vines, moist lips, and teeming coral reefs. But the multimedia artist generates these complex forms with a simple machine, a pendulum of his own design that swings over the canvas, releasing pigment from six radio-controlled paint guns. “The process is full of surprises,” the 62-year-old artist says. “The pendulum lets me step outside to observe nature as it produces layer after layer of detail.”
Shannon made his MoMA debut in 1969, at age 22, with a robot-philodendron cyborg that writhed when you stroked its leaves. In more recent years, he has wowed audiences with magnet-and-metal sculptures that hover in the air. As inspirations for his new work, which critic Raymond Foye described as making “the invisible forces of gravity and mass palpable and visible,” Shannon cites physicist (and pendulum builder) Léon Foucault, Dadaist Max Ernst, Renaissance master Fra Angelico, and the “indelible reference point of LSD.” A six-week show of the paintings opens April 15 at Francis M. Naumann Fine Art gallery in midtown Manhattan.