These Paper Models of Microbes and Cells Are Beautiful

Some artists find inspiration from the grand and vast, painting galaxies and taking photos of expansive landscapes. But Rogan Brown finds his inspiration through a microscope, focusing on the infinite mystery of nature's smallest parts.

Brown's latest piece, Outbreak, is a series of hand-cut paper sculptures in transparent domes, depicting neurons, pathogens, cells, and microbes, a beautiful representation of the order our bodies contain. The pieces look somehow fragile, alien, and comforting, all at once. He calls it "exploring the microbiological sublime."

Here's a photograph of the entire piece:

These Paper Models of Microbes and Cells Are Beautiful

Zooming in, the detail is remarkable:

These Paper Models of Microbes and Cells Are Beautiful

These Paper Models of Microbes and Cells Are Beautiful

Brown explains his process and inspiration on his portfolio website, which also features older series:

I am inspired in part by the tradition of scientific drawing and model making, and particularly the work of artist-scientists such as Ernst Haeckel. But although my approach involves careful observation and detailed "scientific" preparatory drawings these are always superseded by the work of the imagination; everything has to be refracted through the prism of the imagination, estranged and in some way transformed.

Check out a few more images from earlier work, some depicting split-apart pods, and spores, below. [This Is Colossal via Rogan Brown, images courtesy of the artist]

These Paper Models of Microbes and Cells Are Beautiful

These Paper Models of Microbes and Cells Are Beautiful