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About me

Joana lives and works in Brooklyn, NY

Joana studied at Carnegie Mellon University (BSA'04) and Duquesne University (MS'09)

I moved from Portugal to America to study art and biology at Carnegie Mellon University, where I had the opportunity to work both in a lab and in an art studio. I am inspired by research articles and news and often contact researchers directly to learn about their motivations. In the studio, I build on these ideas to form questions about our concepts of self and our place in the world, usually in the form of oil paintings. A painting based on my work with Dr. Alison Barth was published as the cover of the Journal of Neuroscience, supporting what has become my core motivation: that art can both support and contribute to science, and vice-versa. This has driven my work in science art and science education work since and has led to collaborations with galleries, schools and museums in Portugal and the USA, including the Andy Warhol Museum, the Carnegie Science Center, Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, Children's Museum of Pittsburgh and the National Aviary.


Micro Spark award from the Sprout Fund 2012, National Science Foundation Visualization Challenge 2011 (Finalist); Annual Juried Show, 2nd Place, ModernFormations Gallery, 2006 ; Tuition Remission towards a Fifth Year of Study 2004-05; Small Undergraduate Research Award, 2005; Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society; Outstanding Academic Achievement





Exhibition History​​​ ​​

Press & Publications 

Panels, Residencies and Fairs



Image licensing


Images of my works have been used in scientific journals, newspapers, books and major movie productions.


Please e-mail to request a license.


My other sites


Evo-Repro: Painting with Natural Selection

Art in Progress Blog (OLD)


Surface Markers 


Creative Consulting Portfolio





We are made of many parts and many types of parts.  Some parts are very old, others are very new, and most will only be a part of us for a little while.  


I’m interested in the idea that we each are many – and that from moment to moment, we shift, split, merge, cooperate, compete with or ignore ourselves.  In the sixties and seventies, artists like Alina Szapocznikow and Kiki Smith broke up the historic view of the human as a single, whole body, to explore its multiplicity, literal and psychological.  Along the same lines, I use biology as a starting point to explore the boundaries and discontinuities of the human body, rephrasing questions of identity.  


The resulting works are primarily portraits and include traditional art media like oil painting and laboratory material like petri dishes and bacteria.



Self-portraits: Playing with the multiplicity of our biology has lead me to explore my own portraits through many different processes and media >>




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