This artwork shows the autophagy process induced by fasting in Drosophila melanogaster, commonly known as the fruit fly. The tissue represented here is the fat body, which is analogous to human liver. The painting, made during my Ph.D., was inspired by fluorescence confocal microscopy photographs. In red and green colors I represented two different autophagic proteins. The black areas within each cell represent lipid droplets, which are lipid-rich cellular compartments that act as energy reservoirs. The nuclei appear in blue as if they were DAPI-stained. I also wrote an article published in the Autophagy Journal in which I described the making of this painting (and “Autophagy 2”) together with my main motivation for doing so. Also, this painting was selected by this journal as a cover image for issue 11 (vol 5).
Oil on canvas