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Permanent Installations

See my work in Pittsburgh at:

Ibiza Restaurant, South Side

Spiral of Life: Animal Evolution
Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium

Spiral of Life: Bird Evolution
National Aviary


NEWS & Events


This page has been substitued by a new blog, quicker and easier to update! Click to visit >>

8/20/2012 - Dealer's Lounge

I'm participating in the Dealer's Lounge, a private viewing-only show put together by Louise Hohorst, Kate Little and Glenn Wonnsettler. Details:

Thur, Aug 23 to Tue, Aug 28
548 28th Street, 3rd floor in Chelsea

Contact Louise at or at 203 249 8202 for an appointment!

6/6/2012 - Cover of international scientific journal Nature!

The cover of Nature on June 12, 2012 is inspired on the piece "Our Self Portrait the Human Microbiome"! See page for more details.

HeLa 8, Joana Ricou

4/17/2012 - Debut in Chicago!

I'm really excited to do my first show in Chicago! Guichard Gallery is putting together "Voices of Abstraction" where I will show almost fifteen new pieces, mostly from the HeLa series, and showing "Other Self II" for the first time!

Opening Friday, May 11, 7-9 pm
Show runs May 11 - July 14th

Gallery Guichard
3521 S. King Drive
Chicago, IL. 60653

Check out the new Portfolio section "Henrietta Lacks or Hela cells" >>



3/27/2012 - Red, White and View NYC Launch

Red, White and View NYC launch

PORTUGAL REPRESENT! Pictures by Jen Plaskowitz and Dan Teran.

Portugal represent! At Red, White and View launch in NYC. This was an amazing night! Recap and photos at

2/28/2012 - Leonardo Journal update: FREE ACCESS!

The article can be accessed here for free:


« ABSTRACT. The authors created the Spiral of Life as a new, accessible symbol for the evolution of life. This novel visual interpretation of evolution challenges traditional tenets of the field in light of emerging new themes in research. The Spiral brings recent principles to the general public and also provides scientists with a new visual concept to support further discussion. The Spiral emerged from the combination of the analysis of the latest scientific research with an artistic process to create new images and icons. A resulting complementary series of artworks was installed in five cultural institutions and museums in Pittsburgh, PA. »

What is the Spiral of Life? >>

2/13/2012 - Upcoming shows in NYC!

Women: Realizing Perspectives

An exhibition dedicated to International Women's Day celebrated every year around the world on March 8th. Strong Leadership. Strong Women. Strong World. Women represent more than 50% of the world's population. As astronauts, as prime ministers, as educators, women transform lives, create opportunity, form strong communities and shape the world in which we live.

One Gallery Newark
Opening reception March 8, 6:30 to 9:30 pm
Mar 8 - Mar 31, 2012

Red, White and View

From the press release:
Please join us on Thursday, March 22nd for the NYC Launch of RED WHITE & VIEW! Following a very successful series in Tel Aviv, RED WHITE & VIEW is adding New York City to the calendar in 2012! What is RED WHITE & VIEW? It's as simple as enjoying RED wine, WHITE wine with an engaging and interesting mix of people and taking the opportunity to VIEW an exhibition of a selection of some of New York's most promising emerging artists. In addition, we'll have musical stylings by author, artist and philosopher DJ Spooky (Paul D. Miller). There will be a preview of behind the scenes shots from Naked Sea - Spencer Tunick's recent installation in the Dead Sea by photographer Casey Kelbaugh. Forever Young will be pouring their Argentinian wines, Brooklyn Brewery will be providing their delicious beers, Perrier will be bringing the sparkle, and we'll have foods provided by Shantilly Picnic, Brooklyn Fork & Spoon and others. Inspired by Spencer Tunick's work in Israel, the theme of our first show in NYC is "Nude York" and a portion of the proceeds of work sold through the event will benefit Slideluck Potshow.
Participating Artists: Alexander Motyl - Andrew Einhorn - Erica Simone - Joana Ricou - Mia Berg - Myles Bennett
Thursday, March 22nd 7PM - 10PM
WIX Lounge - 10 West 18th St. (Between 5th & 6th)
$10 Tickets:

In the works are more shows in New York and the first show in Chicago!...

1/22/2012 - Interview in Artsicle's Blog

I talk about coming to America, studying art and biology and what I'm working on now - the Multitudes and the HeLa projects. Check it here:

1/22/2011 - Leonardo Journal Publication!

So long waited for.. the paper I wrote about the Spiral of Life project is published in Leonardo 1:45, official publication date 1/23/2011! Leonardo Journal is a prestigious publication about art and technology from MIT Press. I look forward to posting the article here (only in six months though)..

12/29/2011 Accepted for Studio Visit Magazine!

Pieces from the Multitude series were accepted for publication in the Studio Visit magazine, in volumes 15 or 16, coming out next year! This is a juried publication that gets sent to 2000 galleries and dealers in the US. Click the image to visit their web site.

Studio Visit Magazine

12/7/11 Open Studio this FRIDAY, DEC 9

Psst... Joana Ricou is having an Open Studio this Friday, from 8-10:30 pm. Come check out works from 2011, grab a drink and catch up! The studio is at 300 Meserole St, on the Montrose stop of the L Line. This event coincides with Second Fridays in Williamsburg when galleries around the Bedford and Morgan stops coordinate their openings.

View Larger MapGirls and Apples, Joana Ricou

12/1/11 iPhone wallpaper download

Someone (hi, Marta!) really liked the wallpaper I set for my phone, so I thought I'd share it. Download here :)

I usually take a lot of in progress shots while I'm painting. This one is a shot from a series of self-portraits, this piece here.


12/1/11 3rd Ward show coming down next week

The show was fantastic, such a diversity of work and such a great turn out! Here are some shots of the condensed version:

3rd Ward art show, Members show, Joana Ricou
3rd Ward art show, Members show, Joana Ricou

11/29/11 Pittsburgh Magazine.Com covers the Spiral of Life mural

Duquesne University professor teams with artist to create the "Spiral of Life" >>
November 2011
Sean Collier

"Spiral of Life II: Plant Evolution" is a Finalist in the National Science Foundation Visualization Challenge 2011!

Check out the competition here >>Spiral of Life: Plant and Animal Co-Evolution, Joana Ricou, Science Art

What was the Spiral again?

The Spiral of Life proposes a new, accessible visual synthesis of evolution that communicates both basic and cutting-edge concepts like horizontal gene transfer events and an origin of life that is more varied or primitive than previously considered. This art and science collaboration included the analysis of current literature in consultation with experts from the Carnegie Museum of Natural History and Duquesne University in combination with an artistic process. The Spiral emerged from this exploration as a new visual model that proposes that evolution is best understood as a pattern of vertical and horizontal processes - suggesting that our mental model of a tree or a radial diagram is likely to evolve into a web. The Spiral brings these principles to the general public and provides scientists with a new visual concept to support further discussion. Spiral displays were created for five Pittsburgh museums, designed to complement the host’s mission and address their audience.

A series of murals were developed based on the Spiral image for Pittsburgh museums >>

October 2011: Multitudes at Arte Institute, NY NY

Other Self, Human Microbiome, human ecosystem, Joana Ricou, Bio ArtVisit the on-line show "Multitudes" at Arte Institute >>

This show includes a number of works created recently at the Virginia Center for the Arts residency I attended in September. "Multitudes" reflects a new direction or focus to the bioart project: to identify the many parts of the human body and identity, to use biology to explore the natura state of multiplicity of the self.

Founded on April 11, 2011 the Arte Institute is a non-profit organization that promotes culture and showcases art from Portugal. It is a space that offers a creative environment for Portuguese artists in the field of art, literature, music, dance and film. The Arte Institute Gallery is an online gallery that showcases artistic projects specifically conceived to be presented online. The concept is a digital canvas where guest artists are invited to present their work as if the pages of our website were a gallery space.

All new works will be uploaded to the web site soon, please check back again :)


November 2011: Eclectic Chaos

Eclectic Chaos will host two shows in November:

Eclectic Chaos IIA
Nov 11-13
Valley Settlement House, NJ
Artist talk Sat Nov 12

Eclectic Chaos IIB
Nov 18-19
Ethical Culture Society of Essex County, NJ
Artist talk Fri Nov 18

Eclectic Chaos is a series of art shows now in its second year. Its purpose is to announce to a local community and involve them in the use of art in an educational outreach program titled “SMArT.” SMArT stands for science, math, art, and technology. Both Eclectic Chaos and SMArT are currently being developed in cooperation with VSH as a sustainable and readily replicable education program for underrepresented populations in the STEM fields. The targeted groups are ages 3 through 13 served by a local community’s daycare, after school, or summer camp providers. STEM is the acronym for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

More details on the events:

October 2011: Upcoming show

BioArt show, Baltimore, Joana Ricou

BioArt: Encounter of Art & Science
Reception Nov 1 (time TBD)
November 1 – November 4, 2011
The Convention Center in Baltimore, Maryland
Sponsored by JG Business Link International, Inc.

Organized by the new bioart group Artrio:

The exhibition titled, "BioArt: Encounter of Art & Science" will be a group exhibition of the visual artists whose works represent any endeavor to create the positive intersection between art and science, specifically Bioscience. Bio Art normally describes the variety of art forms that use as their medium and/or inspiration, biotechnology, genetics, ecology, plants, animals and other life forms, be they living, semi-living or artificial. Bio Art is relatively a new field of visual art practice that investigates the intersection of bioscience and the visual arts. 500 bioscience-related companies and organizations who participate in the "Korea-Maryland, U.S.A. Bio Expo 2011" will experience new ways of artistic expression of bio/medical technology, and will be inspired by nouveau domain and strategy to promote their products and companies in 21st century.

See their web site here

September 2011: Many and more additions to the blog

During a residency at the Virginia Center for the Arts, many new pieces are now under way. Check them out at the blog Art in Progress, including a panoramic video of the studio!

July 2011: HeLa pieces up!

I just uploaded a new series of works based on a cell adhesion and motility study of HeLa cells, they are these:

HeLa 1; Cells moving. BioArt. Joana RicouHeLa 2; Cells moving. BioArt. Joana Ricou HeLa 3; Cells moving. BioArt. Joana Ricou

July 2011: Blog post

Panorama of whole studio!

June 2011: Blog post

Photos of paintings on the easel (or on nails on the wall).

June 2011: New work and new documentation

A new series has been added. This series continues the theme of girls and apples, but instead of girls finding or being found by apples, they are the source. Also I'm exploring combining painting and drawing techniques. Plus a more "traditional" girls and apples piece.

Girl and Apples Girls and Apples, the tree series, Joana Ricou Girls and Apples, the tree series, Joana Ricou Girls and Apples, the tree series, Joana RicouSelf Portrait, Girls and Apples, Joana Ricou

A number of older works have been re-documented and beautiful new pictures are now on-line (like this one). Thanks to photographer Txuca!

May 2011: Accepted for a residency at Virginia Center for Creative Arts

For Fall 2011, thrilled :)

February 7, 2011: Exhibit CorpoIMAGEM at Pavilhão do Conhecimento, Ciência Viva

CorpoImagem exibicao arte e ciencia , Ciencia VivaDa comunicacao da FCT:

"O projecto FCT A imagem na Ciencia e na Arte, coordenado pela Dra. Olga Pombo desde 2006, aproxima-se da data da sua conclusão. Nesse sentido, estao a promover um conjunto de actividades intitulados "Crossings - Imagem na Ciencia e na Arte" que inclui um ciclo de 4 conferencias internacionais, já realizadas em colaboração com a Fundação Gulbenkian, um colóquio internacional - Image in Science and Art - que terá lugar muito em breve também na Gulbenkian, e a exposição CorpoIMAGEM que será apresentada no Pavilhão do Conhecimento, Ciência Viva, e que estará aberta ao publico durante Fevereiro e Março.

Tenho hoje o gosto de vos convidar a participar nestas actividades, nomeadamente, pela vossa presença na inauguração da exposição CorpoIMAGEM (dia 12 de Fevereiro de 2011 às 17h, no Pavilhão do Conhecimento, Ciência Viva) e no colóquio internacional - Image in Science and Art (dias 17, 18 e 19 de Fevereiro de 2011, Anfiteatro 2 da Fundação Gulbenkian)."

A peca "Other Self" esta' incluida na exposicao CorpoImagem como parte de uma serie de obras expostas em projeccao.

Tenho mantido contacto com o projecto A Imagem na Ciencia e na Arte e recomendo vivamente todas as suas actividades. Tive a sorte de conhecer um pouco da equipa, incluindo a incansavel Silvia diMarco e a directora Dra. Olga Pombo. No ano passado, dei uma talk acerca do projecto Spiral of Life na Universidade de Lisboa como parte deste programa.

February 4, 2011 - My Other Self or Art of the Human Microbiome

Art of the human biome or super-organism, Joana RicouAdded a new piece "Me and My Other Self."

I've been really interested in the developing research about the human body as a super-organism or an ecossystem, where non-human cells outnumber human cells 10-to-1. The notion... see all >>






January 27, 2011 - Added new project

Outbreaker game, concept art, Joana RicouI just added concept art for an upcoming game called OUTBREAKER.






January 2011 - Added painting

Three Girls - Joana Ricou

"Girls and Apples," finally added!

January 2011 - Art on the iPad: release of SmartWords, an iPad/iPhone app

Darwin2009: Spiral of Life and Evolution ArtThe app "SmartWords" was just released in the App store!

In 2010, I worked with programming company OrangeMico on SmartWords, an app for toddlers and their parents to play with and learn words and letters with fruits and veggies. I illustrated the healthy foods which was a really fun process, comparing the very tight patterns that all fruits adhere too. Have you noticed how similar all fruits are?

Check out some of the illustrations and screens and get the app! >>





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