Anatomy of a Still Life
   
Winking Boar
 
Enlightenment
 
Ice and Rust
   
Grapefruit I
 
Grapefruit II
 
Grapefruit III

Planets
       
Gamma 1
 
Gamma 2
 
Gamma 3
 
Gamma 5
 
Gamma 6
       
Gamma 7
 
Gamma 8
 
Gamma 9
 
Gamma 10
 
Gamma 11
       
Gamma 12
 
Gamma 13
 
Gamma 14
 
Gamma 15
 
Gamma 16


Vins Blake is an Italian Photographer and Film Director with a rather unconventional background. A scientist by training – he holds an MSc in Biotechnology – Vins felt early on in his career a strong fascination with art, which eventually led him to develop a vision of the world filtered through the prism of his scientific studies. While “art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life” – as Pablo Picasso once said – through the masterful application of chemistry and electronic engineering Vins Blake challenges our perception of reality by subtly playing with everyday objects.
The Planets series was precisely born from this process. What at a casual glance can look like a celestial body viewed from a satellite is in fact nothing more than a common egg, chemically manipulated and shot in the comfort of the artist’s studio.
Decontextualising objects is nowadays a widely accepted artistic practice, however Vins Blake’s originality is in the fresh approach to art through science, blending the two and bridging the gap between scientific rigour and artistic creativity. Blake’s choice to use the perfect shape of an egg to recreate images of planets is bewildering and fascinating at the same time. These “planets” seem to truly float in outer space, thanks to the dark background that isolates the subjects and highlights their intrinsic features. This illusion is then enhanced by the medium used to print the photos, Lambda C-type prints under acrylic glass, which makes the planets appear bright, vivid and in effect real.
Looking at Blake’s use of light and colour one cannot but think of the work of a champion of science photography, Berenice Abbott. Although she strongly advocated the use of unaltered subjects and un-manipulated photographs, Blake’s works can nonetheless be understood in the wake of Abbott’s project to photograph scientific phenomena. While Abbott’s aim was to facilitate science interpretation by didactically describing the physical world, Blake’s goal is to create, through science, aesthetically captivating images to capture the attention of the casual viewer and at the same time demonstrate that the beauty of nature can be appreciated even from such an unconventional standpoint.

Marco Loi
Art Historian