I first heard of Catherine Wagner when she spoke in Atlanta this last year. Her work is incredible, and she had a really large portfolio. She has done a lot of things with her work, from public art on San Francisco’s Auditorium and Pool buildings to working with light bulbs plants and animals.
My favorite piece of hers has to be “Cross Sections.” This series of work plays with fruit and cell scans done through medical MRI and SEM machines. She then took these scans and made them into eight-foot sections and lit them from behind. The outcome is a large backlit wall of patterned black and white fruit. The images are captivating, and look kind of like wallpaper. I feel like you could just stare at them for hours, and always see something new out of it.
All of her work is very clean and seems to share a commonality amongst it. Her work all deals with pattern and repetition, so the outcome of this becomes a very clean detailed photographic image. It is that factor that makes her work so appealing. Her talent is the ability to bring so much attention to the tiniest detail and the outcome is really great.
On her website she states that she is “interested in what impact the changes that emerge from our contemporary scientific research will have on our culture.” These black and white images that she has created from large medical machines don’t look at all like they were created with scientific scans.