"Nela Ochoa: Genetic Portraits" features an intriguing collection of complex pieces referencing the genetic code of human and plant life. The Venezuelan artist's work embraces the intersection of art and science in bold, imaginative ways, creating provocative installations and sculptures that unravel the mysteries of DNA. Outside the museum, one of her sprawling, serpentine sculptures resembles a giant centipede squirming across the lawn. Buccaneer Helix alludes to the DNA of an endangered species of a Florida palm tree. It was crafted from 868 sawed-off plastic baseball bats that stretch more than 50 feet across the ground. The stubby bats have been encased like sausages in hot pink, turquoise, cobalt, and black Lycra skins. Each of the corresponding colors symbolizes one of the nucleotides in the sequence of the palm's DNA structure. For her intriguing pieces, Ochoa typically selects four colors, evoking the four nucleotides, A, C, G, and T adenine, cytosine, guanine, and thymine in the DNA molecule. Genes, which determine heredity information, are made up of specific sequences of nucleotides.
Fri., Aug. 28, 2009
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