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Artist, Milan

The Italian fine art photographer uses her medium to consider modern science and what it says about our humanity.

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Art and science are unlikely bedfellows. But in the work of Italian photographer Marina Rosso they provide each other with an essential synergy. Rosso uses her stylised brand of fine art photography to consider and visually represent the big life questions that scientific breakthroughs often end up posing. “My aim is to do work that doesn’t provide answers, but rather I’d like people to find their own answers to the questions that I’m raising,” Rosso explains.”I’d like to make people think about something that maybe they wouldn’t have thought about otherwise.”

Her most in-depth work, the Beautiful Gene, was born out of the discovery that the world’s largest sperm bank had stopped accepting red haired donors as demand was too low. Rosso became a self-described ‘conservation geneticist’, embarking on studies to protect the endangered gene. “It was essentially a project on bio-ethics,” says Rosso. “I wanted to consider the initial part of life.” The end result of all of her meticulously researched facts, figures and matrixes is something quite beautiful - a series of analytical photos of red-heads that celebrates them in all of their individualist diversity.

“My aim is to do work that doesn’t provide answers, but rather I’d like people to find their own answers to the questions that I’m raising”

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“I think that my interest in science comes because my family is deeply religious,” Rosso muses. “I wanted to understand better the truth behind the dogma.” Her other projects have considered everything from the Google search’s close proximity to godliness, with lol-worthy visual depictions of some of our most common and ridiculous searches (The OOracle); explorations of scientific imagery (On science); and the aesthetics of hyper-reality (The Authentic Fake).

“It’s almost like investigative journalism,” Rosso feels. “What I usually get bored by in other works of art is if they stop on the aesthetic level or if they are too hermetic, impeding people to understand what the work is about. When you behave like a journalist, your aim is not only to make something beautiful, but also something understandable that forces people to reflect on a given topic.”

And what’s up next for this pioneering artist? Keep your eyes peeled for a video and accompanying website that will question what society considers to be a life well lived. “Now I’m working on a really sad project,” Rosso explains. “I’m working with a woman who is suffering from locked in syndrome. The aim of the project is to understand what is meant by ‘quality of life’.”

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