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“Abstractions on Biotechnology” by Hunter O’Reilly

Art Gallery

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Beauty and controversy go together in a collection of oil paintings by the American artist Hunter O'Reilly. Using bright colors and soft shapes, the artist explores such topics as human cloning, stem cell research, and DNA fingerprinting.

Madonna con Clon

Human cloning is the subject of Madonna con Clon, which portrays the loving relationship between a woman and her cloned child—and the uniqueness of each. Although "a human clone may have the same DNA as another person," says O'Reilly, "it would still be an individual with a unique personality and soul." The oil painting is part of a collection called "Abstractions on Biotechnology."

Contagious Beauty

Another work in the collection is Contagious Beauty, which depicts a woman infected with HIV. An oval structure surrounding her face recalls the physical structure of an HIV particle.

"Through my artwork," says O'Reilly, "I want to give people another perspective on biotechnology—one that looks at both sides of the issues yet tends to see a positive side of biotechnology that many times gets neglected in the media."

Trained as a geneticist, O'Reilly has produced numerous covers for scientific journals. She lectures at the University of Wisconsin at Parkside.

The exhibition "Radioactive Biohazard: Reinterpreting Biotechnology as Art" will be at the University of Michigan Warren Robbins Gallery in Ann Arbor, Michigan from September 3 through 26, 2002.

Below are more artworks from the exhibit.

The Creation of Organs: Stem Cell Research

Unique Clones

Birgit Reinert

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