By: Katharine Griffiths
Created on 21st June 2011
Cosmetic dermatologist Dr Stefanie Williams of European Dermatology London talks about how they are fusing art and science to create intensely personal modern art
Since ancient times, artists have visually recreated and re-evaluated the human body, though sculpture and painting. This has now been taken to another level by dermatologist Dr Stefanie Williams and her partners at European Dermatology London.
They are offering the chance to have totally individual pieces of modern art created from samples taken of your own skin. We interviewed Stefanie Williams to find out more...
Can you explain more about this ‘skin art’?
This is a totally new concept and we’re the only ones in the world offering it. The aim is to capture the inner beauty of the skin by creating original pieces of art, beautifully framed, made from microscopic images of people’s own skin cells.
What is the process?
People can come into our clinic to have a tiny sample taken or alternatively, if they are having a procedure done with a surgeon such as a facelift or tummy tuck, or go for a mole removal, then they can ask the practitioner to send us a very small sample of their tissue.
This is sent to our German partner lab and they create histological raw images from the sample, which in turn are sent to one of our award-winning graphic artists who further enhance those images to create these pieces of modern art.
What are histological images?
Histology is the study of microscopic anatomy of cells and tissues. It is performed by examining a very thin slice of tissue under a microscope.
Dermatologists for example take skin biopsies, i.e. tiny samples of skin tissue, from patients to diagnose certain skin conditions. We do this under local anaesthesia, so it is completely painless.
What we see when looking at skin tissue under the microscope, might be different types of skin cells, collagen, a hair follicle, tiny blood vessels or even individual red blood cells.
What is the story behind the conception of this new art form?
As a dermatologist, I had always thought how beautiful histological images of skin biopsies looked. No matter how awful a skin disease looked or felt to the patient, the microscopic images never failed to look incredibly exquisite.
Then one evening I was working on my laptop and my husband saw one of these images. He thought it looked fantastic and asked if it was possible for him to have one done. He came into the clinic, we took a sample and had the histological image made. As his birthday was coming up, I had it printed and framed and he was so happy with the result, I thought that others might be interested.
Have you had your own ‘inner portrait’ done?
Yes, I did actually. And I have to say that it was quite emotional to see my images for the first time. Two of them are up in my clinic now and I love looking at them.
Do people understand what they see?
It depends on the image and the view chosen. The client will get to choose from ten images. These are a mix of histological raw images and images enhanced by our graphic artist.
Some of the images might show an overview over all skin layers, while others might be more detailed views of certain parts of the skin such as part of a hair follicle or a blood vessel.
When the images are framed on the wall then it won’t necessarily be obvious what it is; it just looks like breathtaking modern art. Then it is great to be able to explain to others that it’s actually your own skin.
What has the response been?
We have only just launched this, but we have received lots of great comments. Those I have spoken to about it have been extremely positive. They can’t believe that it is possible to commission a completely individual piece of modern art, your own ‘inner portrait’, for less than £1,800.
Additional images from the same series are then even less than £900 per piece as the most expensive part of the process is preparing the initial histological images. Our graphic artists can also work to the client’s specifications with regard to colour schemes, as the images can be put into a wide range of striking colours.
To commission a piece of
your own ‘skin art’ contact
London on info@innerportraits.
com. For more information
on Dr Stefanie Williams and
the full list of the treatments
offered at European
Dermatology London visit
www.eudelo.com or call 020