A descendant of Vincent Van Gogh’s supplied genetic material to create a living replica of the ear that the Dutch artist cut off during a psychotic fit. This brings way new meaning to the phrase ‘fall on deaf (death?) ears.’

vincent van gogh's ear

It seems like you can 3D print just about anything in the day and age. The latest addition to this list of insane concepts is called Sugarbabe and involves 3D printing, bio art, which includes Vincent van Gogh’s severed ear. Yup. The Centre for Art and Media in Karlsruhe Germany (where the ears on display) says the replica ear consists of living cells grown from samples provided by Lieuwe van Gogh, the great-great-grandson of Vincent’s brother Theo.

vincent van gogh painting

Using a 3D-printer, the cells were shaped to resemble the ear. Diemut Strebe, the artist, said that she wanted to combine art and science. “I use science basically like a type of brush, like Vincent used paint.”She said the ear is being kept alive inside a case containing a nourishing liquid and in theory, it could last for years. Cool.

starry night van gogh

The coolest part is visitors at The Center in Germany can speak into the post-Impressionist master using a microphone. “You can talk to the ear. The input sound is processed by a computer using software that converts it to simulate nerve impulses in real time. The speaker remains in soliloquy. The crackling sound that is produced is used to outline absence instead of presence.” explains the museum.

The piece is on display until July 6th in Germany and will be coming to New York in spring 2015. We can’t wait to speak to Van Gogh. We have a lot to ask him.

x Check out this article on Andy Warhol’s lost amiga art! x

[images sourced via: thecreatorsproject.vice.com, vangoghgallery.com]