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IN THE STUDIO with Jonathan Feldschuh Jonathan Feldschuh is a data scientist and artist in New York City. After studying physics at Harvard as an undergraduate, he turned his attention to art, studying painting and drawing at Prague’s Academy of Fine Arts. Feldschuh began as an abstract painter but his work later gravitated toward themes in science. By Ashley P. Taylor Managing Editor Paintings from Feldschuh's "Large Hadron Collider" series, inspired by the Geneva particle accelerator where the Higgs boson was detected, appeared as a window display at Mixed Greens Gallery in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood last year. This fall, "The World Egg", a series of radiation maps of the universe, was on view at the Gallery at Skink Ink Editions in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. I spoke with him in his Chelsea studio this October. AT: You have a B.A. in physics from Harvard. How did you get into science-based art? JF: My junior year at Harvard, I had pretty much completed the requirements for my degree and was spending more and more time making drawings and taking photographs in my spare time. That spring I was in a graduate seminar with Howard Georgi, who was a very young, charismatic professor known for having contributed to the Grand Unified Theory for which his Harvard colleague, Sheldon Glashow, had just won the Nobel Prize. I had just bought the little yellow Verlag textbook that had a lot of inscrutable equations for group theory and particle physics and I thought this is it. I looked at the textbook—I’d already underlined the first chapter so I couldn’t return it—and I just had this epiphany, if you will, that the answers to the questions of physics, and just physics, were not the answers I was most curious about exploring with my life; that even if I were to walk down this path and achieve the great success of these people, it wouldn’t feel like what I wanted to do with my life, so I walked away from that class. I spent the rest of my last year and a half at Harvard in the painting studios, in the dark rooms. 18 My senior year, I handed in my course list to my adviser in the physics department, and he said, “But there’s only one physics course on here,” and I said, “Well, yes. I’ve finished my requirements, and I’m going to take all these other things that I’m interested in,” and he said, “Well… if this is your program for your senior year, we’re not going to take you at the graduate school, and no one else is going to take you.” That kind of made me gulp, because I realized that even before I thought I had to, I needed to commit myself, that I wasn’t going to become a physicist, and so that was it. Photo credit: Koko Takeuchi SciArt in America December 2013