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The Art of Saving a Life
Glen Wexler Commissioned by Bill & Melinda Gates

Vaccines are a topic that many people are afraid to take on. With rabid, name-calling provocateurs on BOTH sides of the debate, there’s a very real need for a sane discussion on efficacy, safety, and sustainable outcomes that is based on science and uncompromised data. With the evidence of falsified studies as well as the financial motivation of the pharmaceutical industry, questions need to be asked (and people shouldn’t be afraid to ask them). There’s little doubt that vaccines have had an overwhelmingly positive effect on civilization, but there’s still a need to make them better. With such a political minefield to navigate and reputations on the line, it’s no wonder so many people steer clear of the conversation.

Along with 30 world-renowned photographers, painters, sculptors, writers, filmmakers, and musicians including Sebastião Salgado, Mary Ellen Mark, Annie Leibovitz and Vik Muniz — American photographer Glen Wexler took up the challenge when he was commissioned by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to create a photo illustration for their project titled The Art of Saving a Life.

Known for his “Improbable Realities”, Wexler was led to the work of Jonas Salk for his forward-thinking and creative mindset that led him to develop the polio vaccine. His inspiration for his contribution was a quote by Salk:

"Intuition will tell the thinking mind where to look next."

The digital photograph features a healthy child playing with building blocks, symbolizing the innovation and intuition that Salk embodied in his devotion to finding a solution to polio, historically one of the world’s biggest cripplers of children.

Wexler says the architectural structures represent global accomplishments, while the shiny building blocks tell the story of each new generation building on the achievements of the past by intuitively tapping into infinite creative possibilities.

More on The Art of Saving a Life

The Art of Saving a Life is a collection of stories about how vaccines continue to change the course of history. It offers an opportunity to hear, see and feel the tremendous impact of immunization, and to energize us in the global effort to protect every child from life-threatening disease.