Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Iris - Where Are They Now?

I was reading and pondering about Richard Schwarz's post on opening up the NSF file format and my mind started to wander back in time, back to the days of Iris Associates.

One of the cool things Iris management team did when they opened up the new building 5 in Westford, was form small decorating teams to pick art and furniture for the hallways and lounge areas. Given the broad range of tastes within Iris each hallway ended up with a very different look.

One hallway near my office, at the time, was lined with prints from the painter Gerhard Richter. Richter is a painter with a mixed reputation. Some people love him, some hate him and many people don't even recognize he's a painter, since many of his most famous paintings are photorealistic. I was ambivalent at first but he grew on me.

Anyway, as I was thinking about Gerhard Richter the name of the person who picked his painting for this particular hallway popped into my head: Eric LoPresti. Eric was a UI designer and budding artist who's among other things, designed and drew the keychain/key spinner for the Notes 5.0 login dialog. Soon after that contribution, Eric left Iris to pursue other interests - a fine arts degree, I recall.

Just for a lark I decided to Google Eric's name and see if I could find what he's up to. Well I can't be certain, since there's no picture, but it appears Eric just won the 2005 William and Dorothy Yeck Award, for young painters, with a set of photorealistic paintings of cords. Given the name, the tie-in with Richter's style and the fact that a computer guy would have a ample supply of cords around, I think it's a good bet.

Congratulations to Eric. Those are some cool paintings.

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