Drip Paintings and Fractal Analysis

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Jones-Smith, Katherine
Mathur, Harsh
Krauss, Lawrence M.
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Abstract
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It has been claimed [1-6] that fractal analysis can be applied to unambiguously characterize works of art such as the drip paintings of Jackson Pollock. This academic issue has become of more general interest following the recent discovery of a cache of disputed Pollock paintings. We definitively demonstrate here, by analyzing paintings by Pollock and others, that fractal criteria provide no information about artistic authenticity. This work has also led to two new results in fractal analysis of more general scientific significance. First, the composite of two fractals is not generally scale invariant and exhibits complex multifractal scaling in the small distance asymptotic limit. Second the statistics of box-counting and related staircases provide a new way to characterize geometry and distinguish fractals from Euclidean objects.
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Condensed Matter - Statistical Mechanics, Physics - Physics and Society
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