Spraypaint on concrete - Donaukanal Vienna

The Science

Ubiquitin is a small regulatory protein found in all eukaryotes. Acting as a molecular tag, it regulates the fates of proteins, typically by labelling them for degradation. Ubiquitin’s vital role ensures the proper balance of proteins, and renders it an important part of almost all cellular process, ranging from cell division to DNA repair. The discovery of how ubiquitin chains target proteins for degradation earned the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2004. Ubiquitin’s omnipresence underscores its indispensable role as a molecular guardian, ensuring the proper functioning and survival of living organisms.

The Art

The intricate folds of protein structures have a unique aesthetic. This is one of my first experiments with spraypaint & structure, exploring the dynamics of molecular architecture. Our sense for beauty in the macromolecular world often follows an instinctive assessment of functionality – it appears that the same holds true in the microcosmos. Alpha-helices and beta-strands organize into delicate domains which form a complex arrangement that has been shaped by millions of years of evolution to perform a certain molecular task with incredible precision and efficiency.