Michael Mapes was born in Fort Knox, Kentucky, and received his MFA from University of Illinois in 1992. Technically, Mapes is a portraitist, though he rarely uses paint. Instead, the artist recreates the human face by arranging different tiny materials into highly detailed works of art. Each of his pieces is constructed from what he describes as “biographical DNA,” the little fragments of physical information he mixes to create a finished portrait. Each final piece is made up of thousands of individual specimens consisting of dissected photographs and genetic information about the subject in the form of hair, fingernails, scent, eyelashes, fingerprints, makeup, handwriting and breath. The representations of his subjects are dissected and then reconstructed through artistic interpretation invoking entomological, forensic and artistic methods.