I just read on-line that a museum in Berlin, the Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, has a Vincent van Gogh art piece on display. But this isn’t a newly discovered painting by the Dutch master, no, this is a copy of his ear (you know, the one he famously cut off) that was grown using some of the artist’s genetic material.
The DNA samples were provided by Lieuwe van Gogh, the great-great-grandson of Vincent’s brother, Theo. They share about 1/16th of the same genes, including the Y-chromosome that is passed down the male lineage.
The artist Diemut Strebe said she wanted to “combine art and science”.
According to the article, “the ear is grown from tissue engineered cartilage and is ‘identical’ in shape to van Gogh’s ear by using computer imaging technology. It is composed of living cells that contain natural genetic information about him as well as engineered components, replicating in the ear as a ‘living art-piece.’”