American artist Michael Mapes reinterprets famous portraits by the Dutch Masters by creating intricately detailed collages using hundreds of collected specimens. Each complex piece is comprised of a long list of items such as photographic prints, insect pins, pinning foam, gelatin capsules, glass vials, painted canvas, cast resin, pill organizer, plastic specimen bags, cotton thread, costume jewelry, and sequins.

"Deconstructing photos of actual paintings by such masters as Rembrandt and Nicolaes Eliasz Pickenoy, Mapes recreates the original picture piece by piece, using countless collage materials and even biological findings like eyelashes and hair. The painstaking detail is almost unimaginable; tiny fragments carefully positioned on the tops of pins are compiled closely next to each other. From close range, the dissected pixels can be discerned for their type and texture, while at a distance, the entire human likeness becomes clear."

Three of Michael’s pieces will be shown as part of the Face to Face exhibition opening at the Yellowstone Art Museum in Billings, Montana on March 20, 2014.

Visit designboom to view more of Michael Mapes’ extraordinary artwork.