At first glance, it looks like New York-based artist Michael Mapes actually chopped up body parts to produce his recent mixed media art. According to his bio, the artist likes to “mask the artistic with a scientific veneer by referencing entomological and forensic science.” Through the use of many real scientific materials like insect pins, gelatin capsules, test tubes, specimen bags, and surgical threads, as well as personal DNA details like hair, fingerprints, and handwriting samples, Mapes produces surreal and abstract pieces that will have you staring in awe.
In each composition, he blends a variety of these selected materials with photographic prints, and encases them behind glass and within a wooden frame. He stands pins on end and layers objects together to create a three-dimensional space that is filled with surprises. Beyond the chaos of the chopped up objects, the patterns formed in each collage are extremely symmetrical. Whether Mapes is attempting to convey a pair of hands or a portrait of a friend, the artist has an immense talent for breaking things down and redefining the original as something unexpected and curiously new.