The pieces in this exhibit were all created during two weeks when I was an artist-in-residence at the Tech Shop in San Jose, CA, in early 2014.
I am fascinated with anatomy, and have been since I saw the first X-ray of myself. Through technology, we are allowed to see underneath our skin, to glimpse at the complex structures and processes constantly in motion, constantly functioning beyond our awareness. With my art, I seek to express some of this fascination by working primarily with MRI images of myself and others. These pictures are capsules of living tissue, bone, and blood, frozen in time in grainy black-and-white.
The pieces in this collection are all portraits in some way. They are derived from internal images of myself or others, they are created from places with which I have a very strong identity, and they include my own hair from a recent haircut (at the length it was, it had essentially become part of my identity).
Many of the pieces reference the spine and vertebrae. I love the spine. It is unbelievably flexible and strong, yet it can be damaged in ways that last a lifetime. This dichotomy of powerful and fragile appeals to me.
These pieces are portraits of emotional connections, of fears, of homes and beliefs, and of the viscera and marrow with which we are all composed.
"Self-Portrait as a Pillar"
3D printed PLA from MRI image
1.5" x 5"
This was created from an MRI image of my spine, revolved around an axis and then printed with a 3D printer. It is a self-portrait, yet it is a portrait first taken by a machine, then edited by the human whose bones were photographed, and then finally created by a machine.
Laser-cut paper from MRI images
These delicate, lacy, paper pieces were created from MRI images. They were transformed into landscapes in CAD software according to the lightness/darkness in the image, and the resulting lines are contours of that landscape. The human to machine interface comes full circle as the lines are physically output by a machine – the laser cutter. The fragility of the paper mimics the fragility of the body – we tend not to think how easily we can be injured.
Resin, human hair, redwood
5" x 22"
In this piece, lengths of my own hair are encased in resin, cast from an milled representation of an MRI of my spinal column. It is both grotesque and elegant - up close the locks of hair are spidery and visceral, yet encased in the casted resin, variations in thickness and light create a stained-glass appearence.
Laser-etched redwood from MRI image, elastic
18" x 4"
"Toy" is lighthearted in design, but slightly disturbing in concept. A length of my spine, referenced from an MRI image, has been cut out of redwood and then jointed together, allowing viewers to literally play with my spine.
Laser-etched acrylic, human hair, ink, copper-plated nails
4" x 4" and 6" x 6"
This is a series of pieces made of layered acrylic with etched topographical lines. The lines were taken from geographic forms that are emotionally significant to me. Encased between the sheets are curls of hair, reminiscent of how hair was once kept as a memento of a close friend or relative, as I view these places.
The Instructable for how I made this piece can be found here.
"A Portrait of My Father"
Laser-cut paper from MRI images
26" x 12"
Created from an MRI image of my father during an injury to his spine, the delicate nature of the paper mimics the delicacy of the body, emotionally enhanced by the closeness one feels with a parent.