It is not necessarily the strongest of the species
that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the species that is
most responsive to change.”
- Charles Darwin
Anatomical Origins is the culmination of work more than eight
years in the making. It is the footprint of the many highs and many
lows of attempting a childhood dream as a profession. It represents
years of struggle, passion, dedication, perseverance, stubbornness,
naivety, personal growth and learning, and above all - the love for
the quest of understanding human origins.
This is the most important story for us to understand. We
grapple with it daily. Our views on the subject define the moves we
make day and night. It informs our system of beliefs and values. I
am beyond fascinated that we have evolved from tiny, weak, and
physically defenseless creatures into planet shaping beings capable
of such beauty and equal horror.
Still, we somehow find the will and desperation to survive
against all odds. Only recently aware this drive comes from a
deep-rooted genetic struggle to replicate at any cost.
We have emerged from this cycle with the ability to decode the
universe around and within us. We descend directly from the
universe. The way we maintain and value our bodies, relationships,
homes, communities, countries and home world is a direct reflection
of this collective understanding. This comprehension stems from how
we understand and value our origins. We need a common global origin
view to move forward together.
A common origin is a common thread. It is an appreciation of the
fact that we are all the same biological meat suit with different
ideas about how we came to be on this rock. This is at the heart of
what fundamentally divides cultures and people. Mother Earth has
held immortal secrets under her skin all this time. We now have the
tools and technology to listen, see, touch, taste and feel all the
truths that deliver us into this moment together. People from all
over the world can experience the same data coming to a consensus
thus informing our paradigm of reality.
At the end of this chain of thought emerges a meaning and
purpose to human beings. Until Homo sapiens, this part of the
universe had no music. It had no art. It had not enjoyed the warmth
of love or the fear of fear. It never suffered nor did it hope. It
had no history. It had no war. It knew of no peace. It never wrote
a word about what it thought or feared. It was timeless. It never
had a self.
It does now. This is our role. We are the voice of the universe
– at least in this part of it. We are the universe becoming aware
of itself every passing earth day. On this little, blue piece of
art known as home, we press on in the dance of the cosmos with the
certainty of our demise making every moment alive the heaven or
hell we choose it to be. How can this not fascinate me?
How can this not fascinate you? My PURPOSE is to bring as much
of this to life and to anyone as I can possibly muster. Science,
art and technology are my tools. I use them to illustrate my
understanding of the tangible world held in the fossil record. I
love to reconstruct fossil humans. It offers me a moment to look
into the eyes of our past. This haunts me to my core – a vision of
a world so lost from memory that we can only look to the grave for
I wish I could move through time. Since I cannot (yet) I will do
all I can to be the voice of these immortal beings in the world of
Anatomical Origins features world-renowned
paleoartist Viktor Deak. This exhibition offers us depth insights
into the theory of evolution through the lens of a master sculptor
and illustrator. Deak has created work for National Geographic
TV, Nova, and BBC Documentaries, as well as many major publications
including Scientific American, The New York Times, and Discover
Magazine making him one of the most sought after experts in his
field. His work can be visited at natural history museums
across the world including here in New York City at the American
Museum of Natural History. Through the use of various
mediums, viewers can enjoy a photorealistic journey through the
origins of our species.
Anatomical Origins showcases a wide range of
mediums in both two-dimensional and three-dimensional forms.
Viktor’s three-dimensional work showcases the process of fossil
reconstructions that have been built by creating a muscle tissue
underlay, simulated skin, glass eyes, makeup and even
hair. The result is an incredibly hyper realistic and
anatomically accurate set of sculptures that allow us to see the
faces of our ancestors. In combination with these sculptures,
Mr. Deak’s two dimensional mural collection shows in great detail
and beauty, our ancestral roots and the environments’ that they
Mr. Deak’s mastery of his art provides us with a portal into the
past, using his work to bridge Art and technology with scientific
discovery. His training as an illustrator has been leveraged
to create deep and compelling narratives that imbue viewers with
deeper insights to our ancestral history and promote philosophical
dialogue in the fields of art, science and religion.
- Max Hergenrother
Max Hergenrother lives and works in New York City, providing
quality commissioned Illustration and graphic art solutions for
various print, web, and video related companies. He is also
an Assistant Adjunct Professor at St. John's University and an Art
Instructor at the Nassau County Museum of Arts.