Photography Broken Into a Million Little Pieces

The Photo Blog
Nov. 22 2012 9:30 AM

Dissecting Photographic Specimens With Michael Mapes

Behold is Slate's brand-new photo blog. Like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter @beholdphotos and Tumblr. Learn what this space is all about here.

Michael Mapes' Specimen Box Photography.
Specimen No. 6. 2006. 22"w x 22"h x 3"d

Michael Mapes.

New York artist Michael Mapes creates elaborate specimen boxes by dissecting photographs and then compartmentalizing individual fragments within plastic bags, glass vials, magnifiers, in gelatin capsules, and on insect pins. The boxes exist in an uncanny area between photography and sculpture, functioning both as portraits and as fascinating scientific canvases that make you question the logic behind the organization of each piece. See more of Mapes’ work over at Parlor Gallery, and if you liked this, also check out the work of David Adey.

Michael Mapes' Specimen Box Photography.
Detail of Specimen No. 6. 2006

Michael Mapes.

Michael Mapes' Specimen Box Photography.
Specimen No. 07. 2006. 16"w x 14"h x 3"d.

Michael Mapes.

Michael Mapes' Specimen Box Photography.
Detail of Specimen No. 07.

Michael Mapes.

Michael Mapes' Specimen Box Photography.
Specimen No. 0018. 2006. 22"w x 22"h x 3.5"d.

Michael Mapes.

Michael Mapes' Specimen Box Photography.
Detail of Specimen No. 0018. 2006.

Michael Mapes.

Michael Mapes' Specimen Box Photography.
Specimen No. 0011. 2007. 16"w x 14"h x 3"d.

Michael Mapes.

Michael Mapes' Specimen Box Photography.
Detail of Specimen No. 0011. 2007.

Michael Mapes.

TODAY IN SLATE

Foreigners

More Than Scottish Pride

Scotland’s referendum isn’t about nationalism. It’s about a system that failed, and a new generation looking to take a chance on itself. 

IOS 8 Comes Out Today. Do Not Put It on Your iPhone 4S.

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

How Much Should You Loath NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell?

Here are the facts.

Three Talented Actresses in Three Terrible New Shows

Science

The Human Need to Find Connections in Everything

It’s the source of creativity and delusions. It can harm us more than it helps us.

Jurisprudence

Happy Constitution Day!

Too bad it’s almost certainly unconstitutional.

The Ungodly Horror of Having a Bug Crawl Into Your Ear and Scratch Away at Your Eardrum

My Father Was James Brown. I Watched Him Beat My Mother. Then I Married Someone Like Him.

  News & Politics
The World
Sept. 17 2014 4:08 PM How Teflon Is Vladimir Putin's Popularity?
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 17 2014 1:36 PM Nate Silver Versus Princeton Professor: Who Has the Right Models?
  Life
Outward
Sept. 17 2014 1:59 PM Ask a Homo: Secret Ally Codes 
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 17 2014 4:36 PM Is Nonfiction the Patriarch of Literary Genres?
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 17 2014 9:37 AM Is Slate Too Liberal?  A members-only open thread.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 17 2014 4:07 PM Kern Your Enthusiasm: The Genius of Jenson’s Roman
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 17 2014 12:35 PM IOS 8 Comes Out Today. Do Not Put It on Your iPhone 4S.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 17 2014 11:18 AM A Bridge Across the Sky
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 17 2014 3:51 PM NFL Jerk Watch: Roger Goodell How much should you loathe the pro football commissioner?