The heart, a universal symbol for life and love, is often been a favorite symbol for artists to manipulate into different shapes and forms, but we cannot recall a more thorough exploration of the valentine ventricle than Dadara's latest undertaking. Previously basing his research on the human mind, the Amsterdam-based artist's upcoming solo presentation, poetically titled Every Journey of a Thousand Hearts Starts With a Single Beat, focuses solely on the human heart. The show opens on January 25th at KochxBos Gallery, and we thank Dadara for opening his studio (and heart) for a preview of the work.

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When a cardiologist found Dadara's book Open Your Mind, So We Can Use Your Data, he proceeded from open mind to open heart and invited Dadara to witness a five-hour-long open-heart surgery in which the artist saw the beating human organ. The experience changed the artist's perspective, inspiring a series of concepts through which he approached his research. “I’m always conscious of my brain, but only now have I become profoundly conscious of the continuous beating of my heart.”

Along with painting a series of canvases presenting the importance, fragility, complexity, interconnectivity, and strength of our most vital organ, Dadara experimented with other mediums and formats during his explorations. Viewing the heart as a "muscular machine that keeps all life compressed to the size of a fist, the body’s engine with two halves that complement each other like Yin and Yang," the artist pays tribute to an incredible part of the body by introducing new concepts. This includes a painting made using his own blood, as well as a 3-meter long drawing he continuously painted as a diary of the entire exploration.

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Finally, he cast a three-dimensional replica of his heart, sculpted in gold-plated silver, with sapphires accentuating the veins and arteries, creating the crown jewel of the exhibition. “My heart is the heart of the show." Sasha Bogojev

Dadara's Every Journey of a Thousand Hearts starts with a single Beat opens at KochxBos Gallery on January 25, 2020, with an opening reception from 5 to 8 pm, and is on view through February 15, 2020. The artist will be in attendance and will be interviewed by Jim Jansen chief editor of New Scientist.