Art in all things
I value art, aesthetics and excellence in all aspects of life. To me, there is just as much art in playing pool at a high level or in how Valentino Rossi rides a motorcycle as there is in a photograph, a painting or a sculpture. In undergraduate college I majored in both biochemistry and philosophy, but a single course about modernist architecture had a profound, permanent impact on me. The styles of people like Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier, and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe really resonate with me. Their level of clarity, simplicity and focus on "less is more" are all things I strive to achieve. I am also fortunate enough to have been able to open for and perform (trumpet) with the late Maynard Ferguson, and from my time as a jazz musician I understand how important "the space between the notes" is in all areas of life.
A harmony between art and science
This kind of "thematic interconnectedness" is a concept I seem to revisit over and over as I develop. The list of people I count as having an influence on my work is long, but a few of them are Jackson Pollock, Dale Chihuly, Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier, and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Additionally, Steve Jobs, Valentino Rossi and Kimi Raikonnen inspire me each for very different reasons, and yet they are each excellent at their specific craft(s). Finally, one of the most interesting projects I have ever seen was the collaboration between Metallica and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, leading to an event and album entitled "S & M." I find these kinds of projects that join two seemingly different (maybe even opposite) things into a beautiful, powerful, amazing harmony to be incredible human achievements. I think there is a harmony to be played between art and science that is vastly underexplored and that is why I am exploring it.
The long way around
I first started to think about how I could create artwork based on structural biology (our understanding of biology in three dimensions) during my time as an undergraduate. I would go on to pursue a Ph.D. in pharmacology in one of the top pharmacology departments in the world, and to work for some of the true all stars in the field as well. I was lucky enough to win a variety of awards for public speaking and other things, and to be able publish several papers during my time as a graduate student. Also, based on my scientific work, The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America Foundation (PhRMA) awarded me an extremely competitive fellowship (given to only a handful of people per year) in 2011. Despite the extremely heavy workload of earning a Ph.D., I also cultivated my passion for sailing small catamarans (an adrenaline filled experience) during this time. Again, feeling how to use the wind to take you where you want to go is both an art and a science.
After earning my Ph.D. I went directly to work for a biotech startup company and worked on projects with groups from most of the major pharmaceutical companies around the world. Additionally, I was given the opportunity to travel to Germany and Switzerland to attend a conference in Basel. My hosts in Germany were among the kindest human beings I have ever met, and to be in the land of some of my passions (Formula 1 and MotoGP) was incredible enough, but I had an experience there I will never forget. My host was a retired German business executive with decades more life experience than I currently have. The conversations we had about life, work, politics, problems we all face etc. were absolutely incredible and gave me perspective I don't know if I would have otherwise ever had.
More recently, I have started working as a project manager and a scientist at a major academic medical center. I currently focus on utilizing the human genetic data contained within a large, de-identified biobank to drive translational and clinical research projects. Some of these projects are advancing rapidly toward clinical trials, and I am lucky enough to play a very small role on several very big teams where we are trying to discover and develop drugs and treatments for patients with diseases where there are currently no good treatment options.
Bringing my vision to life
While I have been working on the idea of creating visual art out of scientific data for about 14 years, I didn't create my first piece to share with the world until 2016. My focus is always on doing truly great work.
As they say, stay tuned... and if you would like a piece of art that crosses all kinds of boundaries, then let's start a conversation. Time and cost are completely irrelevant to me compared to bringing a vision to life in a way that cannot be captured with words.