Art of Science: The Paintings of Sarah Rosenstein

Written by Russ Dobler

Sarah Rosenstein couldn’t sleep. Unlike in many cases, it wasn’t her job or financial situation keeping her up at night. Working forensics contracts for the NYPD isn’t as stressful as it sounds, and while the pay’s not great, it’s decent enough. But there’s more to life than DNA tests for the woman with degrees in both molecular biology and psychology, even though finding a suitable hobby was challenging.

“I couldn’t really find anything that was worthwhile, so I started painting,” Rosenstein says.

Not that she thinks painting isn’t worthwhile. With an interest in both growing up, Rosenstein always struggled with the dilemma of whether to pursue art or science as a career. Art initially won, sort of.

“I actually came into college as an architecture major,” Rosenstein says. But eventually, the practical triumphed over the aesthetic.

“I didn’t want to make art my career,” Rosenstein says. “I just wanted it to be my hobby.”

In June, that newfound hobby swept her into ReedPOP’s Special Edition: NYC, the more comic-focused cousin of October’s sprawling New York Comic Con. It was there, prompted by her friends, that Rosenstein set up her MolBioART booth, near the entrance of the Pier 94 building and right across from where the panels were held.

“It’s all new to me,” Rosenstein said. “All the comic book work I did two days ago.”

That’s pretty impressive, when you consider the dozen or so superhero pieces that hung around Rosenstein’s table. That wasn’t all, though, as other items included a portrait of DNA’s discovery and a tribute to the Beatles. Rosenstein says she began painting strictly science stuff, but expanded to other genres when she started to experiment with different contrasts and techniques.

Rosenstein’s glad that she’s finally able to scratch that second itch, at least a little bit, but she has no intention of giving up on the primary part of her personality, even if the whole art thing does take off.

“I’m a scientist, I don’t make much money,” Rosenstein says, “but I love what I do.”

Check out the MolBioART website to see how a cell biologist brings comic, TV and film characters to life, or challenge Rosenstein to paint something outside her wheelhouse. You’ll have to request a new Dr. Manhattan piece – the first one’s hanging in my house!

All images and cover photo courtesy of Sarah Rosenstein and MolBioART.

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