3/05/10 4:28 PM
Numbers fill our lives, running them on the clock, the calendar, the calorimeter. But what do they really look like? Sure, we all know what form Roman and Arabic numerals take, but these are, in the end, abstract signs that signify something else. Doug Titchenal has made a practice of figuring out ways, countless ways, of visualizing the numbers that add up our time, from the minutes of our days to the days of our years to the years of our centuries. The self-taught artist works with a strange yet irrefutable logic, employing colors and dots and geometric shapes to make sense of something so familiar that we most often take it completely for granted. And yet how peculiar and ungraspable it is the ways in which our days, our entire lives, are divided up into twenty-fours and sevens and three-hundred-and-sixty-fives. And yet, out of these numbers, which we all live by at least according to standard western calendars, Doug Titchenal pulls pictographs of an astonishing logic and order, so astonishing in fact as to constitute a kind of beauty, the kind most of us never see in numbers, except, perhaps, the number that constitutes the numerical content of one of his own works, which represents the 10,000 days of his own happy marriage.