Glass Microbiology Turns Viruses Into Glass-Blown Art

Senior Contributor
02.08.13 2 Comments

We often see vividly colored pictures of viruses and microbes, but they don’t actually look like that. They physically can’t have a color: many microbes are smaller than the wavelengths of light that would need to reflect off of them for this to be possible.
So artist Luke Jerram, for his latest sculpture series, decided to take it in a different direction: Depicting viruses as transparent and translucent glass forms, built as three-dimensional structures.
Jerram is an artist who’s been working in the fine art world for more than fifteen years. It ranges from leaving pianos lying around in major cities to flying balloons playing different parts of a classical piece across a city.
Here, though, he’s working on bringing out the beauty and just utter weirdness one finds in microbiology. Microbes, although we don’t think about them this way, are really incredibly complex structures that have evolved to handle unique challenges over time. Granted that unique challenge is generally how to trigger an immune reaction that kills you, but, hey, there’s no reason we can’t appreciate the aesthetics.
We’ve picked a few examples for a short gallery, but you can find a lot more photos on Jerram’s official website. And with that, let’s roll out the viral load:

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