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Greg Dunn's Shimmering Imagery Reveals Hidden Biological Processes at Work

By Sotheby's
Dr Greg Dunn's Photosynthesis is a highlight of the Contemporary Art Online auction, open for bidding through 18 July.

L everaging his background as a PhD in neuroscience, artist Greg Dunn developed a revolutionary technique, along with Dr Brian Edwards, a fellow artist and electrical engineer, that allows dynamic control of imagery and color in reflective gold surfaces. The process, known as reflective microetching, allows Dunn to capture a greater amount of information in his work than traditional media, combining hand drawings, mathematics, photolithography and gilding. The result is a dynamic depiction of movement that responds to any light source, taking on mixtures of color and responding to a viewer’s motion.

Dr Greg Dunn & Dr Brian Edwards, Photosynthesis. Estimate $30,000–40,000.

In Photosynthesis Dunn creates a stunning simulation of water and nutrient transport in leaf vasculature. The handmade lithograph reflects light in its metallic surface to elucidate a biological process as if elapsing through time. At once revealing in its ability to communicate what cannot be seen with the naked eye and captivating in its glittering imagery, Photosynthesis joins art and science in both subject and technique.

Watch below as Dunn’s work responds to a changing light source, bringing the processes of photosynthesis to life.

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