Todd Siler (born August 23, 1953) is an American multimedia artist, author, educator, and inventor, equally well known for his art and for his work in creativity research. A graduate of Bowdoin College, he became the first visual artist to be granted a PhD from MIT (interdisciplinary studies in Psychology and Art, 1986). Siler began advocating the full integration of the arts and sciences in the 1970s and is the founder of the ArtScience Program and movement.
The son of an aspiring concert pianist and bio-medical researcher, as a child, Siler was a prodigy in the fine arts, often using highly detailed drawings to express his ideas on integrating the arts and sciences. He studied art as an undergraduate, spending a year “apprenticed” in the studio of American artist Leonard Baskin. In his 20s Siler was part of the same SoHo art scene which launched Julian Schnabel, Francesco Clemente and David Salle. Today, Siler’s artworks are in numerous public collections including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art (20th Century Collection), The Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow, and The Israel Museum in Jerusalem.
Todd Siler makes art about the brain, and learns about the brain through art. This remains his lifelong passion and challenge: discovering how the human mind constantly learns about itself by studying its countless creations.
These metaphorical artworks, or “neuro-impressions,” intimate how the brain is connected to its creations; and how neural mechanisms form and shape our lives and futures in every way imaginable. Understanding the brain’s creative process entails searching for deep connections between mind and nature. This art envisions what nature makes and what we make of nature.
Images and ideas appear to emerge and evolve on all scales and dimensions. They’re dynamic and boundless.
The coronal sections of “Mind Icons” collaged on the paintings pose open-ended questions about understanding through experience the creative process. These cross-sectional views symbolize his constant groping to grasp the myriad dimensions and mysteries of the brain. The neural-like textures and imagery represent different parts of the brain, such as the limbic system or “heart of the brain,” where intuitions, feelings, emotions, and memories are processed and interpreted-influencing what we learn and care to remember.
They visualize the birth of ideas and their sources of inspiration. Moreover, they reflect on how we come to know nature and ourselves, as we explore the possibilities of human knowledge and applied imagination.
These metaphorical works of art aim to inspire searching the limits of human knowledge, serving to expand our sense of aesthetics by stimulating wonderment. As natural born Metaphormers (lifelong learners, creators, problem solvers, innovators) we can envision what we want to become, and become what we envision.