Does life reflect art or does art reflect life? Although I have always derived a scholarly pleasure from pondering this question, it does not completely explain the situation. Most pragmatists will tell you that art reflects life, because without life, there is no art. But devotees of the aesthetic will insist that art reveals a sharpened reality that life imitates in a myriad of permutations.
Looking at this picture of an E. coli bursting apart, the cell a mere white blob against a grainy black background, it looks simultaneously like a botched photo negative or a snapshot of a star imploding in the cosmos. Some pathology slides take my breath away, and it's hard for me to focus on the clinical details intead of the aesthetic beauty of it, and to not marvel that such art springs from the minutiae of life.