Uncanny Portraits Visualize The Power of Genetics

copyright Ulric Collette

Excerpt: Genetics Are Awesome isn’t an educational visualization like the Punnett squares you used to learn about genetic inheritance in high school. Instead, photographer Ulric Collette simply took portraits of two people who are directly related–say, a father and a daughter or pair of twins–and placed them in a split-screen combination. This basic juxtaposition dramatically visualizes the power that genes–just tiny coiled bits of nucleic acids–exert over the design of an entire organism. Sure, it’s no great epiphany that a baby girl has mommy’s eyes and daddy’s chin. But something about these split-screen combinations breaks out of the humdrum abstraction of heritability and snaps your awareness toward the, yes, awesomeness (in the cosmic sense, not the Lolcat-GIF sense) of this basic fact of life.

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