Michael Mapes Turns Portraiture into Specimen Studies

 - May 4, 2012
References: room62 & beautifuldecay
Michael Mapes borrows from the entomological practice of pinning bugs to a board in this collection of human portraits. The artist uses several specimen cutouts consisting of human body parts and carefully arranges them in order to create a visually stunning piece of work.

The collection is at once both provocative and alluring. The composition of the illustration is impressive in its intricate layout; however, the format in which the visual representation is delivered (scientific specimen) is slightly off putting. The work recalls impressions of mad science and human experiments, turning scientist into specimen.

It's interesting to see how the human body can be taken apart and categorized into individual segments, forcing the audience to consider the intricacies of their own physical bodies.