Skeith De Wine

Raised among South East artists and nightclub performers, Skeith De Wine was educated at Harvard University and the Rhode Island School of Design. Eventually, he ventured to Southern California in the early 1990’s. De Wine established a reputation as a cutting-edge art presenter in Orange County with his famed T.S.A.G.I.C. gallery, located in downtown Santa Ana’s historic Santora Arts Building. In recent years, he has revived a lifelong fascination with the work of Leonardo da Vinci.  De Wine is documenting and executing a body of artwork about da Vinci’s lost and unknown experimentations with optics.

From the first designs of the airplane and submarine, from the creation of modern anatomy, to building the world’s first robots, Leonardo da Vinci stretched his intellectual capacity by questioning everything he thought he knew of this world. Da Vinci had a singular vision that drew upon the collective knowledge of the past and the vitality of his own personal observations of nature. By joining his observational skills with science and art into a single course of action he accelerated the conceptual and scientific process.

De Wine feels that we need to work “to close the gap on clean and renewable energies, resuscitate fragile ecosystems and build a more vital and resilient infrastructure, one that can grow stronger and benefit all the planet’s living things.” In response to these sentiments, De Wine has created the California Leonardo da Vinci Institute of Discovery. Its purpose “is to dream, conceptualize and build the world of tomorrow with art and scientific exploration today.” The da Vinci Institute will make its debut with its representation in Free Enterprise.

For the show, the Institute presents its concept for economical missions to Mars. A rocket ship, constructed out of ice, will travel like an ice comet to its destination. Upon arrival the ice components of the ship are separated and melted down for oxygen and water to increase the crew’s exploration time on the planet.

Believing that clean and renewable energy is a global priority, the Institute has begun investigations into cold fusion. Also, being studied are designs for kelp towers that can pull polluting particulates out of the air in urban epicenters. The Institute is researching organic steel and habitats for polar bear preservation in the face of global warming.

• left: Atlas Organic Steel, 2012, Ink on paper, 8.5 x 11 inches. Research documents from the California Leonardo da Vinci Institute of Discovery.

• The Aeolus, 2012, Acrylic on board, 32 x 22 inches. Research documents from the California Leonardo da Vinci Institute of Discovery.


•  Mural of research on aerospace technology, ca. 2008, Mixed media on paper, 76 x 252 inches. Research documents from the California Leonardo da Vinci Institute of Discovery. All photos courtesy of the artist.