Portraits of a Child I & II
Portraits of a Child I & II, scanned, remixed, 3D printed, and finished by Cosmo Wenman.
I scanned two privately held, traditional busts of children and remixed them with two powerful, otherworldy, and futuristic sculptures I admire: Constantin Brancusi’s 1910 Sleeping Muse at the Met, and Jacob Epstein’s 1915 Portrait of Iris Beerbohm Tree at Tate Britain.
Once the busts of the children were scanned, I digitally edited them to incorporate features and styling from the century-old museum pieces, which I modeled by eye from photo references. I 3D printed the results in plastic and finished them in bright and patinated brass.
I’m not sure what it says about my own perception, or about the current (stale?) state of science fiction imagery, but the futuristic iconography that most resonates with me is from futures conceived long ago. William Gibson giving up on predicting the future comes to mind, and fits into the picture somehow. I also think of Disneyland restyling Tomorrowland, moving away from a 1960s brute-force engineered future, and toward hundred-year-old Jules Vernesque fantasy imagery.
In any case, the surreal, Promethean spread of creative power via easy 3D scanning and printing hints at very cool, unpredictable things to come.
Life-size 3D Printed Portrait
My client asked for a life-sized 3D printed portrait of a colleague. Because the portrait was to be a surprise gift, there was no opportunity to scan the subject. The piece had to be modeled from photos of him culled from the web.
I proposed a bust, roughly from the shoulders up, with classical allusions, but I was vague about the details beyond that. The final design references the Artemision Bronze, Leighton’s An Athlete Wrestling with a Python at Tate Britain, and a few pop culture sources.
I took a risk and bet that they’d like something other than a standard chairman-of-the-board type treatment. And what’s the point of having rock & roll hair if you aren’t going to do the whole heroic barbarian-warrior-champion-god thing when you have your life-size 3D printed portrait done?
This is the result.
This kind of remixing is just one small reason the world’s back catalog of public domain sculptural artwork should be digitized and published, freely, and without restriction. More on that front soon…
Eric Gill, ‘Ecstasy’, 1910-1
I captured Gill’s 1910 limestone Ecstasy at Tate Britain in August 2012, and have cast it in bright bronze, 21 inches tall.
See 3D Scanning, 3D Printing, Bronze Casting, and the Art of the Living Dead for its story.
Download the 3D printable model here: thingiverse.com/thing:528162
From Tate Modern:
The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living
Shark, glass, silicone, plastic, 1.5% Red Bull solution, 30 x 15 x 20 cm. This original work is offered for sale directly from the artist’s studio, and will be delivered to the buyer by the artist himself (pending helipad proximity). Serious inquiries only, please.
Download the 3D printable model here: thingiverse.com/thing:25339