Science and art are like two brothers from one parent who sought different paths in life. As they grew, people from all over the world tried to tell them that even though they were brothers, they should lead different lives, they tried to separate them. It worked for a while until they realized that they had the same blood flowing in their veins and that they would always need each other. Now, they work together, inspiring each other, and bringing out the best in each other. They have found out that they work better when they are not working away from each other. The people who tried to separate them, now enjoy the result of both of them working together for the good of everyone. No other illustration describes science and art better.
That said, here are 20 artists who wholesomely agree with this story.
1. Luke Jerram
Luke Jerram is a color-blind artist who researches perception according to the human senses. His artworks include microbes, viruses, and the likes, created in glass models. To get the best out of his art, he has a team of science inclined people including engineers, and technicians. Their job is to explain the ideas he has in his mind according to their knowledge so that he can put them into art. Sounds like the perfect synergy.
2. Suzanne Anker
Suzanne Anker is an artist who likes to create an intersection between science and art. She researches the 21st-century effect on nature. She has a strong liking for genetics, toxic degradation, space extinction, and climate change. She, through her art, is making sure that the beauty of nature is understood and appreciated. Her work inspires you to think deeper, till you are one with nature.
3. James Turell
This artist is one of the most interesting ones so far. Turell was a fighter pilot for a brief period, and after that, he submitted himself wholly to the art side of life. Now, instead of creating a lone object, or some artwork that can be hung on a wall, he bought a dormant volcano. He designed inside the volcano according to the images he had in his hand, which were space, color, and light. He has been working on the volcano for 12 hours.
4. Jen Stark
This artist is a very talented artist who makes paper sculptures with inspiration from wormholes, microscopic patterns, and sliced anatomy. Each of her paper sculptures has a link to biology, which is very beautiful. She goes into different layers of the world, and how the world explores them using patterns and colors. She draws inspiration for her work from her interest to conceptualize visual systems for mimetic topography, simulation of plant growth, sacred geography, evolution, and fractals. She seeks to create a balance between “optical seduction and perceptual engagement”. The result of her work often comes off looking like “organic, molecular cloud-like structures.”
5. Lisa Halloran
Halloran is an artist who researches perception, and through the scientific form her art takes. She uses scale and time to help humans understand the world fully. More so, where we belong in it, both emotionally and psychologically. She tries to make her art reflect her discoveries, like the “deep sky companion” pieces
6. Susan Aldworth
Susan Aldworth does not fuse her artistic abilities to a simple medical procedure. She researches the consciousness of the average human, focusing on neuroscience as it is the bedrock artistic invention. She wants to understand deeply, how the brain works, and through that, create a befitting art. She works closely with neuroscientists to make this possible. One of her most recent works is an art piece made with actual tissue gotten from the human brain.
7. Fabian Oefner
He is a photographer from Switzerland who creates a meeting point for art and science using his photography, along with his ability to use science to harness the properties of the earth. To create his beautiful and colorful art pieces, he combines one element, one property with the other, creating a truly beautiful art fusion. He creates something called psychedelic images. One of the property mixes he does includes having crystals interact with soundwaves and capturing the amazing movement that follows.
8. William Chyr
Chyr’s art is one of the most beautiful representations of art meets science. His art includes creating a platform that can replicate some of the nature-driven processes. Most of what he does is get balloons. Inflate them, then create large complex sculptures according to biology. A closer look at the structures which we are talking about, you will see that the structures represent different biological systems, including the interaction between neurons.
9. Maria Sybilla Merian
Unlike most of the people on this list, Merian existed in the 1600s, but her art contributed to the growth of science centuries later. Inspired by the evolution of the silkworm, Merian would spend days, weeks watching the evolution of insects, and paint these processes. She recorded the growth process of a butterfly from the beginning to the winged stage. She is known as the woman who made science beautiful. If you want to understand how important her documentations were, watch a video of the evolution of these insects sped up. She put time and effort into what can now be caught on camera, making what was recorded in weeks watchable in hours or minutes.
10. Lisa Nilsson
Nilsson is intrigued by the anatomical system of humans, so she creates art with quilled paper, in cross-sections. She creates these anatomical figures with the attention to detail that can only be found in surgeons. They are beautiful artworks that showcase the science of biology. Nilsson makes other art with her quilled methods, but they are very different from the anatomical structures that are admired and loved.
11. Klari Reis
She researches biological techniques because biology is the context for this post. She seeks to explore the line between tech and what is natural. She makes art using an epoxy polymer which she treats with pigments and dyes. She has a product she called hypochondria, which involves Petri dishes hanging on the walls. Her work seeks to unify biology and creativity.
12. Rachel Sussman
Some organisms have been alive for thousands of years, and they keep growing because that is what living things do, grow. Sussman travels around the world to take pictures of these living things, specifically the oldest living and still growing organisms in the world. She works with biologists to find and identify these organisms, then she photographs them and sends out the beautiful images of biology and nature for us to see.
13. Andy Goldsworthy
Andy Goldsworthy creates sculptures using only elements of nature as his instruments. His sculptures are site-specific and are mostly land art. His sculptures usually have leaves, trees, stones, snow, twigs, and every other thing that nature can provide. He seeks to understand nature, by becoming a part of nature through his art. He is defined as a naturalist, and his art proves it. More importantly, his creations are ephemeral, because they change over time, like nature. Before he starts creating, he first becomes emotionally one with nature to smoothen the process.
14. Vik Muniz
Where you see a single grain of sand, Muniz saw a canvas. MIT had a cast program where artists were paired with science to create some kind of science-meet-art pieces. Paired with a scientist, Muniz used an electron microscope, along with a focused ion beam to draw sandcastles on a grain of sand. Maybe we should first ignore the entire irony of that art, but his fusion of science and art is one that would be talked about, decades after now. It is one thing to build a sandcastle with a lot of sand at the beach, it is a completely different level to create one on a single grain of sand. How big was the grain?
15. Rogan Brown
Rogan Brown is an artist whose material of choice is Paper. He uses paper to sculpt, and while that seems strange because of the light and feeble nature of the material, it is exactly as he wants it. He creates sculptures of botanical art using paper, as he explores the world of nature and science using his art to create beautiful things out of his discoveries. He sculpts bacterias and a host of other botanical things that come up during his explorations.
16. Nina Sellars
Sellars is an artist who is focused on creating art out of the human anatomy, and more than bringing science and art together, she does it with a fusion of tech. She seeks to portray the human body as defined by science and infused with technology. She tries to explain the human body’s history with art and its current mix with technology. That as technology advances, the knowledge of the human body and its abilities will advance as well.
17. Jody Rasch
Jody Rasch is an artist who works with themes mostly based on astronomy, spectra, physics, and biology. His works are mostly abstract as they represent some sort of mysticism. He seeks to let us explore with him, the unseen things that abide in this world of ours through his art. It is said that there are things which we cannot see with our eyes, but exist. His art brings to life, these things, hence the abstract nature of his pieces. His work shows us how to appreciate the beauty of the things we cannot see, and how to explore the unseen things in the world around us.
18. Hunter cole
Hunter Cole is a geneticist and an artist who interprets science in art form via the creation of living artworks. She uses her art to confront the issues plaguing biotechnology in today’s society. Using bioluminescent bacteria, she creates living drawings that show our lifecycle to death. The idea is to call our attention to, or in this case, remind us of our mortality. The art shows the bacteria living, growing, then dying on Petri dishes. Another aspect of her art is one where she photographs people using the light from the bioluminescent bacteria. She uses art to teach us the essence of life.
19. Vera Scekic
More than painting, Scekic’s art shows us an aspect of biology on which life in itself is based, the cell system. She pours paint or thins them, and when they are dried, she peels them off and layers them. The finished product of this experiment gives the look of a cell under a microscope. Her work seeks to blend science with fiction and bridge the gap between that which is artificial and that which is organic.
20. Cheryl Safren
Safren uses chemical reactions to create art and it is simply breathtaking. She places chemicals on metal surfaces, and the reaction produces a wonderful blend of colors. Her work is so amazing that for you to completely take in the beauty of her art, one look is not enough. You have to go from one end to the other, bending and even stretching to take in the beauty that is her artwork. The images are dynamic, and they create a simply amazing fusion of science and art. The interactive nature of her artwork is one of its many qualities.
When people are asked where they belong, they usually say “I belong to the arts”, or “I belong to science”. They sometimes fail to realize that while both of them are different, they are wired to need each other to serve humans best.
The beauty of science and art is the connection they both share, how they can be the same while being very distinct. Finding the connection between them both was like a roadmap to creating something extremely beautiful. These artists, and more that were not mentioned on this list, took the time out to find out ways they could find the connection between science and art and present it to us.
Today, we can see these beautiful pictures and leave our jaws on the floor in awe of how science goes from numbers and calculations to being something so beautiful you cannot take your eyes off. Science has always been beautiful, however, humans were, are so concerned with the supposed logical aspect of science that all they see are 1s and 0s or Xs and Ys. Science is so much more than numbers and calculations, it is colors and patterns too. Nature in its entirety is a combination of science and art.
When you see a beautiful tree or the ever-growing mount Everest, you conclude that “God is an artist.” However, beneath that beautiful art is science explaining and propelling the growth. You need art to see the beauty of science, you need science to explain the beauty of art. The divide has now been closed by these artists.
Because of Fabian, you can now see what happens when crystals come in contact with sound waves, you can now see the beauty of what happens when two properties come together. We are grateful for artists like those who use their art to close the divide between science and art. They make us completely appreciate the beauty of nature in all that it is and all that it will ever be.