Thursday, November 13, 2014

Vincent's Ear

German artist Diemut Strebe references Van Gogh's self-severed ear in a project at the intersection of art and science. To create a "portrait" of Van Gogh, she cultured cartilage from Lieuwe Van Gogh, a living descendant of Vincent Van Gogh (he is the great grandson of Theo, Vincent's brother). The cartilage was grown around a 3D printed ear based on the shape and calculated measurements of Vincent's actual ear seen in the only known photo of the artist. Strebe figures that this living organism should last about 80 years. A microphone allows visitors to "speak" to Vincent's ear--speech is translated into the pops and clicks of the sounds of neurons firing.

This reminds me of the amazing self-portrait bust by Marc Quinn made from his own frozen blood which I wrote about here in a post of artist self-portraits.

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