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These Crazy Science Experiments Are Actually Gorgeous Abstract Art

These paintings from Klari Reis all appear on Petri dishes. But are they a science experiment or an art project?

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As choreographer Twyla Tharp argues in her bestseller The Creative Habit, a successful artist is often more a master of routine than a vessel of divine inspiration. San Francisco painter Klari Reis’s current painting project makes a case for the routine approach: For each day of 2013 she’s elected to create a unique image, using a Petri dish as her canvas, creating art that looks both like abstract painting and the results of a science experiment.

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It’s a fitting backdrop for an artist inspired by the life science industries in the Bay Area where she lives. She calls her work a “product of biological techniques, which provide context for the artworks and explore the increasingly fuzzy line between the technological and the natural.” Working with epoxy polymer, her goal is to “depict electron microscopic images of natural and unnatural cellular reactions.”

These mini-paintings are a reminder that daily creative output is the best habit to form. If you’re a writer, perhaps that means a daily blog post. And if you’re an artist interested in cellular chemistry, perhaps you should consider the Petri dish approach.

About the author

Zak Stone is a Los Angeles-based writer and a contributing editor of Playboy Digital. His writing has appeared in TheAtlantic.com, NYMag.com, Los Angeles, The Utne Reader, GOOD, and elsewhere. Visit his personal website here.

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