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Image of the Week: Doctor-artist elevates the task of presenting a PhD thesis to an artform


I had a terrible time writing the rough draft of my thesis. Then a wise friend told me that the first draft didn't need to be a work of art; "just get it on the page."

Artist and resident physician Stephen Gaeta, MD, PhD, took this advice one step further. Not only did he get his thesis on the page, he created a work of art in the process. The result is the image shown above, entitled Beat Poetry.

I talked with Gaeta earlier this week to learn what inspired this fusion of art, science and writing. Gaeta told me that after he finished his graduate research on cardiac arrhythmias he wanted to share the results of his hard work with others.  He thought of displaying a figure from his thesis as art, but "not many people want a poster of a T wave alternans on their wall."

Then he got the idea to warp the text of his thesis to create an image of an anatomical heart. He "signed" his artwork by adding an EKG of his own heartbeat at the bottom of his image.

"I didn't expect many people to read my work," Gaeta told me. "Now, not only have many people read it, they have it hanging on their walls.”

You can view and order posters of Gaeta's images created with text from classical scientific and medical works from his store on StreetAnatomy.

Artwork by Stephen Gaeta

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