Petri Dish Installation
Klari Reis uses the creative process in both painting and science to explore and document the natural and unnatural world with a sense of wonder and hope.
Currently working in San Francisco, the artist recognizes that Northern California hosts more life science companies than anywhere else in the world. Her artwork is a product of biological techniques, which provide context for the artworks and explore the increasingly fuzzy line between the technological and the natural.
Reis is grounded in actions and reactions with a new media—plastic-epoxy polymer. Similar to resin, the UV-resistant plastic is her method and language for exploring and expressing interactions on a microscopic level. Compositions offer brightly colored smears, bumps, stains, and blobs atop aluminum and wood planes. She pigments the plastic with powders, oils, acrylics, and industrial dyes through many layers of the ultra glossy plastic. These bleed, blur, shift, and spread, becoming remarkable through their eccentric detail. A technician of sorts, studio as laboratory, Reis has turned the invented process into a science in the service of art.
Reis continues to develop the process and the exploration in her installation works, Hypochondria. The projects consist of hand-painted Plexiglas Petri dishes depicting microscopic images mounted on the wall at varying distances in groupings of 300, 150, 60, or 30 pieces. The effect is of brilliantly colored life forms dancing across the wall, the playfulness—hopefulness—belying the serious nature of the subject matter. These installations are meant to embrace biotechnology and advances in science.