Client: Avalanche Biotechnology
Location: Menlo Park, CA, United States
Completion date: 2015
Neil Murphy Studio
Lainey Saint Marie
Coastal Arts Enterprises
Avalanche Biotechnology researches genetic treatments for diseases. This installation of neurobiology-themed work brightens the interior space with colorful, apropos works illustrating three relevant topics: the mammalian retina, dopamine and serotonin receptors. The works are typical of artist Neil Murphy's biology-oriented art with accurate depictions of science embedded in colorful abstract backgrounds.
Mammalian Retina (52" x 80") hand-painted archival print on fabric, illustrates the unintuitive arrangement of the retina's photo receptors and the neurons that wire them to the optic nerve. The neurotransmitter paintings, Dopamine and Serotonin (both 52" x 52") are acrylic washes ink on unprimed canvas.
Upon entering, Avalanche Biotechnology's new headquarters gives the impression of a high-tech, open, modern work place. However, it lacked a certain warmth and vitality. These works bring to the space interesting, artful, and colorful representations of the science occuring in building.
The art brought an unanticipated benefit for Avalanche. Mammalian Retina was used as the background for a video presentation by the CEO created for a World Economic Forum award submission. Avalanche won the award.
The goal, as noted by Lainey Saint Marie, the project curator: "I placed the work of Neil Murphy within Avalanche after searching among hundreds of artists for work I thought would be the right fit to inspire your researchers and represent your vision."