Artist and scientist Lee Hendrickson’s photographs are crystals magnified thousands of times, captured using a high-resolution digital imaging microscope. Enjoy Lee’s amazing imagery by visiting his website.
It has often been said that the artist’s goal is to make the invisible, visible and in so doing reveal to the viewer a fresh and thought-provoking world view. This very aptly describes my artwork. I am an artist and scientist who lives in Phoenix, Arizona. My photography is unique and brings to light a hidden world seen only through the microscope.
My fine art photographs are of crystals, which I grow utilizing methods developed during my time spent in research laboratories as well as my artist studio. The images I capture are often brilliantly colored, always revealing visually seductive patterns which hint at subtexts and sculptural forms.
Some crystals have the unique property to behave like a prism so as the light passes through the crystal formations on its way to the camera, the different colors of the visible spectrum can be revealed.
I select molecules that we are all familiar with, for example, caffeine from your morning coffee, citric acid from a lemon, resveratrol from a glass of wine or perhaps acetaminophen, which is found in Tylenol. But all I choose to work with have the potential to produce endless crystalline compositions.
Art and science may seem to be strange companions, but my extensive background in both the world of science and the art blend beautifully to illuminate the designs of nature in this microenvironment.
My workplace is equal parts artist studio and laboratory and home to cameras, microscope, and glass vials containing solvents and mysterious powders. The magic is happening hidden away in dark cabinets, on rows of glass microscope slides; where on each, crystals are growing, quietly assembling into unique patterns as delicately diverse as snowflakes.
Like a psychologist’s inkblot test, my photographs place the viewer at the boundary of the familiar and the unfamiliar, organic in nature and feel, yet with a decidedly contemporary aesthetic. Each time I place a new crystal preparation under the microscope I become an explorer, never knowing what to expect. I am seldom disappointed.
The entire field that I photograph is typically no larger than the head of a pin, but an infinite array of patterns can result and the complexity of design and their amazing beauty never cease to fascinate the viewer.
Making the invisible visible is perhaps an appropriate summation for all artistic endeavors, all new perspectives, the very act of creating something new and compelling, and I feel that my artwork is able to do just that.
Artist Lee Hendrickson invites you to follow him on Facebook.
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