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Portrait (DNA) by Christopher Serra

Your Art Here is pleased to announce the hanging of a new artist billboard located at N. 6th St and Walnut Avenue in Bloomington, IN. The billboard will be on display for the fall semester.

The billboard, designed by Boston-based illustrator Christopher Serra, pictures a map of the United States sectioned into a series of numbered columns and bands of color–representing a stylized version of a DNA autoradiograph. Presented in a public space usually reserved for advertising, this image will undoubtedly stir up questions in the viewer, but not ones that are easily resolved: What does it mean for the US to be represented as a DNA map? What constitutes the DNA–the cultural, ethnic, political make-up–of the US? For viewers who are unfamiliar with visual representations of DNA analysis, it may lead to other questions: Why would the US be divided into neat numbered rows? What could the colors signify? During the upcoming fall election season, these questions could potentially become more loaded, and viewers might respond to the image differently according to their political orientation. It is not the intent of this billboard to provide answers, solutions or clear-cut messages, but rather to provoke–via an ambiguous incorporation of geography and genome–questions and introspections.

Christopher Serra grew up in the Boston area. He is a graduate of Massachusetts College of Art. Some of his clients include: The New York Times, Harper’s, The L.A. Times, The Wall Street Journal, Newsday, The Progressive and The Nation. His work was included in The Society of Illustrators 48th Annual Show.

Your Art Here is an Indiana-based non-profit public art organization created to provide local communities with an opportunity to engage in visual, public dialogue through the use of billboards and other public spaces. Our mission is to extend visual expression beyond traditional museum and gallery spaces in order to create a public venue where art and ideas can be expressed freely.