Through the use of cells from Lieuwe van Gogh, the great-great-grandson of Vincent van Gogh’s brother Theo, and the aid of a 3D printer, a living replica of the famous artist’s ear that he himself cut off in 1888 has been put on display at The Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe, Germany.
Artist Diemut Strebe told the Associated Press that convincing Lieuwe van Gogh to participate in this artistic display was quite simple. “He loved the project right away,” Strebe commented.
Once the living cells were collected, the process of forming the replica ear was done at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. The technique and materials used will allow the ear to stay ‘alive’ in the liquid filled case for years.
Originally there were hopes to use original DNA from Vincent van Gogh himself, but hope was lost when an envelope that was supposed to contain the alleged DNA of the late painter turned out to be from someone unrelated.
The exhibit will remain on display at The Center for Art and Media until July 6. Strebe has plans to the display to New York sometime next year.
Sources: Associated Press