Quinten van Geest

Dr. Quinten van Geest is a former neuroscientist and contemporary artist fascinated by the human brain, design, and technology. Most of his art is based on MRI scans and tells stories about the brain and its vulnerability.

Artwork.





It's me, [your name].

The brain defines a human being. It weighs approximately 1400 grams and it is estimated to contain up to 85 billion neurons. These neurons form an extremely complex network that eventually defines our personality, cognitive functions (e.g. memory, attention and problem solving) and emotions. This sculpture of your own brain makes it possible to literally hold the substance that defines yourself in your own hands.

More information about the proces of creating a bronze sculputure of your own brain, including the MRI-scan, can be found on www.art-within.nl (Dutch). Would you like the information in English? Please contact me.

Title It's me, [your name]
Year since 2021
Serie Each piece is a limited edition
Medium bronze sculpture
Weight 7,5 kg
Dimensions 19 cm × 14 cm × 26 cm (l × w × h)
Price € 8.600,-




Mini-me.

Each brain is quite the same regarding its appearance, such as its size, weight and anatomy. However, in daily life we are confronted with huge differences between individuals regarding personality, cognitive functions (e.g. memory, information processing speed, and problem solving), and emotions. What can explain these astonishing differences between people?

This bronze sculpture, named Mini-me, is based on an MRI-scan of a brain and scaled at approximately 40% of its actual size. It's the ultimate business or medical gift, answering the abovementioned question. The sculpture comes in a luxurious, handmade, wooden box with a certificate of authenticity.

You can order by email or phone.

Title Mini-me
Year since 2021
Serie open
Medium bronze sculpture
Weight 750 gram
Dimensions 7 cm × 5 cm × 11 cm (l × w × h)
Price € 550,-

Collection: Dr. H. Lecter.

Luckily, the brain is very well protected from the outside world by the skull. It floats in cerebrospinal fluid that protects it from mechanical injury by acting as a shock absorber. Despite all the layers of physical protection, the brain remains vulnerable. Significant physical injury quite often results in death.


Clarice I.

The graphite drawing (lateral view) illustrates the story of the brain and its vulnerability to physical damage, despite all layers of physical protection.

Title Clarice I
Year 2020
Serie original
Medium graphite drawing
Dimensions 38 cm × 41 cm
Price € 475,-


Clarice II.

The graphite drawing (frontal view) illustrates the story of the brain and its vulnerability to physical damage, despite all layers of physical protection.

Title Clarice II
Year 2021
Serie original
Medium graphite drawing
Dimensions 39 cm × 42 cm
Price € 550,-


Voxels.

The sculpture is based on an actual MRI-scan of a human brain and illustrates the technique of an MRI-scan including its small imperfections.

An MRI-scan of the brain consists of voxels, which are three-dimensional pixels. Each voxel contains a greyscale value that is determined by the type of tissue (i.e. grey or white matter). Depending on the MRI-scanner, voxels can be as small as 0.1 mm3. Although an MRI-scan enables to accurately image the brain or other organs, it also suffers from small deformations.

Title Voxels
Year 2020
Serie 8 + 2 AP
Medium 3D print (polylactic acid)
Weight 900 gram
Dimensions 20 cm × 13 cm × 25 cm (l × w × h)
Price € 1.995,-

Artist statement.

The human brain weighs only approximately 1400 grams. Yet it defines who we are and what we do. Furthermore, evolution of this organ in the past 200.000 years enabled us to create the complex society full of modern technology we live in today. As a former neuroscientist, I am intrigued by this beautiful organ that is so essential to our daily live and the world we live in. I try to capture this beauty by combining MRI scans, digital sculpting, 3D printing, and craftsmanship to create brain sculptures that fascinate and educate people.

Importance of the brain for our daily lives is greatly illustrated by its vulnerability. That is, in the Netherlands alone already 3.8 million people (±25%) suffer from a brain disorder, such as depression, stroke, and Alzheimer’s Disease. These diseases have a huge impact on the quality of life of these people. Part of my work illustrates this vulnerability; a healthy brain should not be taken for granted. Hopefully it will encourage people to live a healthy life.

Another aspect of the brain that fascinates me is its physical appearance in combination with mortality. As a neuroscientist, I have worked on various brain autopsies to collect MRI scans and brain tissue for research. Every autopsy, I was impressed by the moment the brain was lifted from the skull and held in the hands of the neuropathologist. Although the pattern of convolutions (i.e. anatomy) is very similar between brains, each brain does have its unique physical appearance (e.g. size, weight, overall shape). At the same time, being able to hold someone’s brain is only possible when a person has passed away. For me, this creates tension. On the one hand, I am fascinated by the brain that is lifted from the skull. On the other hand, this feeling is inappropriate, because an actual living person has passed away. The end result is an unsatisfying feeling. To overcome this tension and focus on life instead of death, I provide the opportunity for clients to obtain a bronze sculpture of their own brain based on their MRI scan. This individualized work nicely reveals the variability of the brain between people, as I also observed during autopsies.

Art provides a way to visually share my fascination for the brain with others and create awareness of its impact on society. As the evolution of the human brain stands at the base of modern society, I dare to say that for a large part we created our world. However, this also puts us at risk for destroying it. But if we keep using our brains properly, I believe we can prevent this from happening in the (near) future.