Artist Visualizes How People With Synesthesia Experience the World

Synesthesia Geometric Paintings by Daniel Mullen

'40s-'80s

Imagine you could visualize sounds as color and texture, or perhaps hear colors, feel sounds, and taste shapes. This is how people with synesthesia experience the world. It is a neurological condition where the brain processes stimulation in a way that allows the person to experience several senses at one time. Amsterdam-based artist Daniel Mullen explores this fascinating sensory phenomenon with an ongoing painting series titled Synesthesia.

Made in in collaboration with artist, filmmaker, and synesthete Lucy Engelman, Mullen visualizes how she perceives time, numbers, and letters. Mullen explains in an artist statement, “In Lucy's case, when she sees or thinks about time and numbers […] she experiences a different color sequence in her mind's eye.” He continues, “Essentially, she has an ever changing complex and luminous filter to view the abstract concepts of our world.”

Although Mullen doesn’t experience synesthesia himself, Engelman claims his paintings are the nearest visualization she’s ever seen of her experience. At first glance, Mullen’s artwork looks like three-dimensional sheets of colorful plexiglass, arranged in geometric rows and sequences. However, each incredible piece is meticulously painted with a steady hand, rendered in bright, rainbow hues. Each piece represents how Engelman experiences various times. For example, the 1950's-80's are visualized with 3D “sheets” of vibrant pink, orange, blue and green. In another piece, representing ancient times between 5132-5097 AD, the colors appear softer, and the lines are thinner.

Mullen’s work is currently on view at the international art festival SP-ARTE in São Paulo until April 15, 2018. Find out more about the project via Mullen’s website.

Amsterdam-based artist Daniel Mullen explores how people with synesthesia experience the world, with an ongoing painting series, titled Synesthesia.

Synesthesia Geometric Paintings by Daniel Mullen

'10s-'40s

Synesthesia Geometric Paintings by Daniel Mullen

'40s-'50s

Made in in collaboration with artist, filmmaker, and synesthete Lucy Engelman, Mullen visualizes how she perceives time, numbers, and letters.

Synesthesia Geometric Paintings by Daniel Mullen

'50s-'80s

Synesthesia Geometric Paintings by Daniel Mullen

“Crossing a century”

At first glance, Mullen’s artwork looks like three-dimensional sheets of colorful plexiglass, arranged in geometric rows and sequences.

Synesthesia Geometric Paintings by Daniel Mullen

1985-2020 AD

Synesthesia Geometric Paintings by Daniel Mullen

1374-1429 AD

However, each incredible piece is meticulously painted with a steady hand, rendered in bright, rainbow hues that represent specific times.

Synesthesia Geometric Paintings by Daniel Mullen

2085-2128 AD

Synesthesia Geometric Paintings by Daniel Mullen

7231-7290 AD

Synesthesia Geometric Paintings by Daniel Mullen

5132-5097 AD

Synesthesia Geometric Paintings by Daniel Mullen

1297-1273 AD

Synesthesia Geometric Paintings by Daniel Mullen

2037-2098 AD

Synesthesia Geometric Paintings by Daniel Mullen

1742-1694 AD

Synesthesia Geometric Paintings by Daniel Mullen

2000-2032 AD

Synesthesia Geometric Paintings by Daniel Mullen

1937 – 1972 AD

Synesthesia Geometric Paintings by Daniel Mullen

1707 – 1759 AD

Synesthesia Geometric Paintings by Daniel Mullen

6919 – 6893 AD

Daniel Mullen: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter
h/t: [Lustik]

All images via Daniel Mullen.

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Emma Taggart

Emma Taggart is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met. Originally from Northern Ireland, she is an artist now based in Berlin. After graduating with a BA in Fashion and Textile Design in 2013, Emma decided to combine her love of art with her passion for writing. Emma has contributed to various art and culture publications, with an aim to promote and share the work of inspiring modern creatives. While she writes every day, she’s also devoted to her own creative outlet—Emma hand-draws illustrations and is currently learning 2D animation.

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