HIV, by Luke Jerram

Nearly all the images we see of viruses use false coloration, either for illustrative or aesthetic purposes. Glass sculptor Luke Jerram makes clear, colorless models of viruses and bacteria, working in consultation with microbiologests and under the glass-given physical constraints of gravity and fragility. The resulting works (including all the big names: E. coli, swine flu, Ebola, smallpox, and HIV) are stunning and sobering. Jerret’s website quotes a note he received from an unnamed viewer: “I just saw a photo of your glass sculpture of HIV. I can’t stop looking at it. Knowing that millions of those guys are in me, and will be a part of me for the rest of my life. Your sculpture, even as a photo, has made HIV much more real for me than any photo or illustration I’ve ever seen. It’s a very odd feeling seeing my enemy, and the eventual likely cause of my death, and finding it so beautiful.”

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HIV,” 22cm, from the sculpture series Glass Microbiology, by Luke Jerram Smithfield Gallery, London, 22 September–9 October 2009 :: via Freakonomics Blog

Originally published at culture-making.com.

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