Joseph Cohen, Artist
Daniel Heller, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Weill Cornell Medicine and Cornell University
Four years ago, Daniel Heller met Joseph Cohen in an art gallery in New York City.
Heller, Head of the Cancer Nanomedicine Laboratory at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Weill Cornell Medicine, develops carbon nanotube-based optical sensors to detect cancer and other diseases.
Cohen and Heller collaborated to develop carbon nanotube-based paints that allow paintings to be imaged in the near-infrared (IR), resulting in a painting that looks one way to the observer in visible wavelengths, and differently upon imaging in the near-IR.
The goal of Cohen’s paintings was to teach the unique materials properties of carbon nanotubes to the general public, and to create visual art that could show viewers something “invisible.” The work resulted in a new kind of paints, and, by incorporating them into Heller’s sensor work, they made nanosensor paints for disease biomarkers, now under development as point-of-care diagnostics.
Cohen’s nanomaterials artwork blossomed to include more modalities, including large-format paintings that also incorporate phosphorescence and UV excitation, in collaboration with Bruce Weisman, and laser-induced graphene, in collaboration with James Tour, both of Rice University.
Cohen and Heller will describe the motivation and process of creating artistic works that employ the unique optical and physical properties of nanocarbons. The work will also be displayed publicly.