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Painting proteins: Artworks by Jacques Deshaies

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Jacques Deshaies paints proteins in all shapes and colors. "My paintings are free associations inspired by science," says the Canadian artist. He is among the first painters to explore proteomics—the new science of identifying proteins and understanding what they do inside cells.

Deshaies 02--Open twisted Alpha/Beta structure #1, #2, #3; 28 x 36 cm, acrylic on canvas.

"Every protein has the beauty of a flower," says Deshaies. "I pick them every day." In addition to reading biology books and scientific journals, the artist finds inspiration in three-dimensional models of protein structures that are available online.

Deshaies' works have been shown in galleries worldwide and featured at scientific conferences. His paintings have appeared on the covers of scientific journals, such as the current issue of Nature Reviews Genetics.

Deshaies 02--Alpha/Beta Proteome 2 layers #2; 40 x 50 cm, acrylic on canvas.
Deshaies 02--Alpha/Beta Proteome 2 layers #4; 120 x 90 cm, acrylic on paper.

To see more paintings, visit the artist's Web site at

Birgit Reinert

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