Last week Nick Love, a third-year medical student, told me the story behind the art exhibit that he created for Stanford’s 200thanniversary celebration of Mary Shelley’s Gothic monster novel, Frankenstein.
“It’s interesting how Mary Shelley was a human being who who died more than 150 years ago, yet her words are essentially immortal,” said Love, who incorporated the complete text of Shelley’s novel on the background of two of his mixed-media mosaics.
For this exhibit, Love took two months off from his clinical rotations to build 32 versions of Shelley’s monster with laser-cut acrylic, wood, paint and pages ripped from an old Frankenstein novel. He did most of the fabrication in Stanford’s Product Realization lab.
“I’m incredibly appreciative that the medical school gave me the opportunity to do this project,” said Love, who feels blessed to be in place allows him to pursue his dual passions for medicine and art. “Stanford has to be one of the most special places in the country, if not the world.”
One unique aspect of his artwork is how it creatively incorporates medical learning into its layers. For example, in 2016 he illustrated a series of mnemonics that medical students use to master anatomy. The Frankenstein art teaches inquisitive viewers about three sets of topographical lines on the surface of the skin that are important to physicians.
Love's mosaics are currently on display on the first and third floors of the Li Ka Shing Center for Learning and Knowledge on campus. Other artistic interpretations of Frankenstein from across the university will be presented at the International Health Humanities Consortium: Frankenstein’s 200th from April 20-22 at the same venue.
Photo by Kris Newby