Van Gogh's missing ear "regrown" as art


Artist Diemut Strebe and scientist collaborators have "regrown" Vincent van Gogh's missing ear using cells from one of the painter's distant living relatives. The project, which reminds me of artist Stelarc's "Third Earl." Van Gogh's ear is currently on display at the ZKM Museum in Karlsruhe, Germany. From the ZKM:

The ear is grown from tissue engineered cartilage and is “identical” in shape to van Gogh’s ear by using computer imaging technology. It is composed of living cells that contain natural genetic information about him as well as engineered components, replicating in the ear as a “living art-piece”.

From NBC News:

The U.S.-based artist said the ear, which was grown at Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital, is being kept alive inside a case containing a nourishing liquid and could theoretically last for years.

Convincing Lieuwe van Gogh to take part was easy. "He loved the project right away," said Strebe.

Notable Replies

  1. Now we need to find a descendant of his mistress and mail it to her.

  2. So an "ear" that belongs to "Van Gogh" was "regrown" as "art".

    Unless you want to get technical - in which case some cartilage was cultured from cells that belong to a distant living relative of Van Gogh and shaped to resemble a vague estimate of what some people think was the shape of Van Gogh's missing ear, as a way of suckering money out of people who believe that competitively buying and selling random mundane curiosities as a form of status symbol constitutes art and marks the participants as intelligent, sophisticated, and generally just superior to everyone else.

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