Auction wrap, my first conceptual photo, DNA art

With this weekend's Photographic Resource Center auction, my personal photo auction season ended, not a moment too soon for the budget.  As I had suspected, the season's poor economic outlook was in evidence at both Woodstock and Boston events.   Bidding was a little hesitant, and although it only takes two bidders to make an auction, some bargains were definitely available.  Both events were no less fun and exciting, and I got to meet or catch up with many artists and collectors.

Usually I gravitate towards black and white photographs that have some abstraction or obscurity to them, some mystery added by the photographic process and not explained by a simple recording of the scene.  This time I found something completely different, Chromosomes, a digital C-Print by Kevin Van Aelst.

I don't often go for the conceptual.  After all, once the idea is stated, who really needs the work?  OK, chromosomes look like gummy worms or vice versa.  Now what?  But there's something about this piece that really makes me happy.  I've been assured that Van Aelst is a rising star but I wouldn't have bought it just for speculation.  Maybe its the intersection of food, photo and science.  See more of Van Aelst's work on his website.

In not totally unrelated news, a friend brought this to my attention a while ago: a company in England is offering prints made from a cheek swab of your very own DNA.  Clever, and rather attractive in an abstract way.

You send in a swab and then choose a variety of color and style options and get your print in the mail.  Perhaps demand for DNA was slow or the public's tolerance for swabbing was low, as they also offer somewhat less invasive lip and finger prints.  I wonder what other body parts or chemicals could be turned into artwork?

2 Responses

  1. Kevin's work makes me happy too. And he is a super nice guy. Don't forget to check out his editorial work. He is seen weekly in the NYT magazine column (and sometimes on the cover) The Medium,
  2. Hi David, I came across this post by accident and wanted to thank you for writing about us! The demand for the DNA art world wide has been quite high- we actually sell more DNA prints then the other two portrait types we offer but we wanted to add different looks - not everyone likes the organic look of the DNA- some people prefer the woodcut look of the fingerprints of the pop-art look of the lips. Our UK site is located at and is our global web site. Again thanks for the post! I really like Kevin's work! Thanks for introducing it to me. We are based in North America but many of our clients are in the UK. All the best, Adrian Co-founder DNA 11

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