Start Here

Positive Space is a term used by painters and art experts to describe the subject of the painting, compared to the lighter, sometimes blank areas that contrast with and frame the subject.  It’s the part of a composition that most directly expresses the artist’s vision. It's balanced by negative space which is just as important and provides context for the spatial relationships within the composition.

Reality is a kind of positive space, and if we observe carefully we acknowledge the universe to be art.  Even in growing despair, his genius already darkened by insanity, Nietzsche still retained his sensitivity to beauty and his appreciation of its philosophical importance: “The world can only be justified as an aesthetic phenomenon.” Beauty is the messenger of truth.   

There is empirical truth and artistic truth. The great chemist Prigogine, who won the Nobel Prize and is one of the key founders of Chaos Theory, observed “If Newton had never lived, somebody would have eventually discovered the law of gravity. But if Bach had never lived, there would be no B Minor Mass.” The event, whether discovered or created by us, is mind.

Every week this newsletter will contain three features aspiring to beauty and truth:  a text, a quotation, and an image.

About Me

After an adventurous life in finance and business mostly outside the US, I’ve written two novels.

Crisis Deluxe is set in Hong Kong during the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997 - 1998. A Prince Among Men is set in Sydney, Australia in the near, post-Covid future. I’m working on my third novel: a novel about America and Vietnam in the late 1950s until about 1975. I’ve also published a collection of short stories titled Love in the Last Century.

Links to my work / how I have fun

My books can be found on
Crisis Deluxe:
A Prince Among Men:
Love in the Last Century:

This is how I have fun:

The Wallis Rings, the only privately owned set in the world

Subscribe to Positive Space

The World as Art


Chris Coffman
Author of the novels A Prince Among Men: and Crisis Deluxe: Podcast: The Recovering Investment Banker