Popular Mechanics Drives Home the Hope for a Cancer Cure With Clever Cover Art

Another winning effort from artist Vik Munoz

A life-affirming June issue message.
Headshot of Richard Horgan

This is genius. For the June issue of Popular Mechanics, which hit newsstands this week, the magazine sourced for its cover some images straight out of a medical laboratory.

The words “Cancer” and “Yes,” part of a rhetorical question-and-answer posed by Dr. Jennifer Wargo, M.D., a doctor at Houston’s Anderson Cancer Center, are a patchwork of live cancer-cell images. From the issue notes:

Tal Danino, director of the Synthetic Biological Systems Lab at Columbia University and artist Vik Muniz partnered together to create the images “cell by cell” through live imaging.

“On an artistic level, it’s very interesting to think about making beautiful artworks out of cancer,” says Danino. “It’s this extraordinarily visceral, emotional topic that everyone has experienced, because everyone knows someone who’s had cancer.”

For the cover story “It’ll Take an Army to Kill the Emperor,” writer Jacqueline Detwiler visited a number of elite cancer centers across the U.S. to gauge the latest scientific advancements related to finding a cure. Muniz, a Brazilian-born artist who divides his time between New York and Rio de Janeiro, is also known for his pointillist photo portraits. Kudos to Popular Mechanics editor Ryan D’Agostino and the rest of the creative team for etching the battle against cancer in such a vivid and memorable manner.

@hollywoodspin rhorgan@gmail.com Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.