3D Printed Sunflowers by Van Gogh: The Transforming Project by Rob and Nick Carter
3D Printed Sunflowers by Van Gogh: The Transforming Project by Rob and Nick Carter
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Sunflowers (2013) Rob and Nick Carter

The bronze interpretation of Van Gogh's Sunflowers (1888) by Rob and Nick Carter is a tribute to the Dutch genius of Post-Impressionism and is part of the Transforming exhibition recently held at London's Fine Art Society.

The Carters, a married couple already known to us from the Paint Pigment Photographs art project, have been working in a creative duet for over 15 years. Artists experiment with lighting, color, and form using a wide range of genres and techniques, including photogram (photographic images obtained by a photochemical method, without the use of a camera), painting, installation, neon, sculpture, and performance.

"Sunflowers" is one of several concepts of the "Transforming" project, which took place exclusively thanks to the long and fruitful collaboration of the Carters with MPC (Moving Picture Company) - one of the leading studios working in the field of digital visual effects and computer animation for feature films, advertising, video clips and television.

Fragment of the sculpture "Sunflowers" (2013) by the Carter spouses

Under the guidance of Rob and Nikki, MPC's designers created a replica of Sunflowers in a 3D editor, and then printed several copies of the design on a ProJet 3500 high-resolution 3D printer. in order to cast the final version of the art object. The result is impressive: the Carters' work is one of the most intricate and detailed bronze sculptures in the world. The object has been worked out so thoroughly that it even conveys the texture of paint strokes on the painted surface.

"Sunflowers" (2013), 3D model

“At first glance, we were faced with a fairly simple task,” says the studio's art director Jake Mengers, “and yet there were a lot of pitfalls. We had to seriously stretch our imaginations to convey the impressionist style in three-dimensional sculpture, simulating Van Gogh's signature brush strokes, and completing areas that are not visible in the original 1888 painting.”

"Sunflowers" (2013), 3D render "Sunflowers" (2013), render fragment

A computer 3D model, designed by the MPC team, was required in order to determine the real physical volume and shape of the future bronze replica, to imagine how "Sunflowers" will work in three-dimensional space. The main trick was to make the object look harmonious from all angles of view, and at the same time remain extremely faithful to the original in the plane that is depicted in the painting by Van Gogh.

Sunflowers (2013) Rob and Nikki Carter, rear view

In addition to "Sunflowers", the exhibition "Transforming" presented animations of four works of classical painting (including "Sleeping Venus" by Giorgione) and "Black Tulip" (a bronze replica of a painting by Judith Jans Leister).

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