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Bullet and Suspect

Denver Crime Lab

Denver, Colorado



Bullet and Suspect are two monumental sculptures for each of the two atriums in the new Denver Crime Lab that recognize criminologist’s work in broad conceptual strokes. After subject research with the Denver Police force and understanding that the core task of a criminologist’s endeavor is pairing one piece of evidence with another, the artist conceived each sculpture as a pair of forms. Bullet is an abstraction of the spiral rifling of a gun barrel and trajectory of a bullet, two forms found in the ballistics lab, while the two inverted strands of spiraling material that comprise Suspect in the buildings north atrium, imply the serial digital scanning that ends when two strands of DNA are matched.

The sculptures are made of hundreds of laser cut brushed aluminum plates strung on cables. At eye level the sectioned plate structure allows the viewer to see through the sculpture. When looking up or down at the sculptures on different floors of the atrium, the angle of view causes the plates to compress and the object is no longer transparent, but solid revealing its full form. This structural transparency allows visual communication across the atrium in the Crime Lab’s central collaborative spaces, creating a sense of staff looking through their own process and into the spaces and activities beyond. The restricted access to the building still allows the sculpture in the north atrium to be viewed through its 47-foot glass window facing the street of Denver’s cultural district. The Police Force has embraced the sculpture as art that speaks to their work.


Bullet and Suspect - Denver Crime Lab - Projects - Cliff Garten Studio

Photo Credit Frank Ooms

Denver Crime Lab, Denver, CO


Aluminum and LED Lights

Bullet Two Parts, 20’ H x 6’ W x 6’ D and 16' H x 6’ W x 6’ D; Suspect, Two Parts, 38’ H x 4' W x 4’ D each

Commissioned by
Denver Office of Cultural Affairs

Patrell Engineering

Metal Arts Foundry

Client Reference 
Kendall Peterson, Public Art Program Manager, Arts, and Venues Denver
Greggory S. Laberge, Director of the Denver Police Department Forensics and Evidence Division

Frank Ooms
Denver, CO