3D-Printed Skull Busts Break Down the Human Body

A three-person exhibition at Australia's beinArt Gallery features 3D-printed sculptures, cartoonish watercolors, and hyperrealistic oil paintings.
June 21, 2016, 8:55pm
Jake Hempson, Crowned King, Hand finished cast resin sculpture. Cast from a 3D print. Limited edition of 20. Size - approx. 12.5 x 12.5 x 18 cm (4.9” x 4.9” x 7”). Images courtesy the beinArt Gallery.

A new exhibition of 3D-printed sculptures, cartoonish watercolors, and hyperrealistic oil paintings emerges at Australia's beinArt Gallery. Featuring three distinct artists, which seems to be a recurring curatorial theme for the gallery, Transmogrify brings together the white morphed skull busts of artist Jake Hempson, the hyperrealistic portraits of Ben Howe, and the cartoony watercolor illustrations of graphic novelist Tim Molloy.

Ben Howe, Nest, oil on canvas, 100 x 75 cm (39.4” x 29.5”)

Jake Hempson's 3D-printed sculptures subvert traditional marble busts by using contorted skull bones, drawn from both animals and humans, for the heads of his figures. The sculptures’ deformed helms, however, are their only perverse appendages: everything from the neck down is unmistakably human. The sculptures vary in terms of size and posture, but all have recognizably human tissues and bone structures that make them look alive. The artist tells the beinArt Gallery, “I want to evangelize the beauty of bones, without its associations with the macabre.” In this way, the artist blends his digital practice with more traditional methods of sculpture.

Ben Howe - “Shell” - oil on board, 50 x 65 cm (19.7” x 25.6”)

Ben Howe's crisp oil portraits incorporate a painstakingly detailed hyperrealism that is simultaneously flipped on its head through a series of material fractures and splits. Howe captures the faces of his subjects with incredible clarity, but contradicts that accuracy by cracking away at his images of their faces. These surreal distortions imagine the human head with the consistency of a pad of paper or a clay pot.

Tim Molloy, Big Band, watercolor and Indian ink on watercolour paper. Size - approx. 30 x 42 cm (11.8” x 16.5”)

Finally, illustrator and graphic novelist Tim Molloy both showcases a series of cartoon watercolor paintings at the exhibition and launches his new book, Mr Unpronounceable and the Infinity of Nightmares (published by Milk Shadow Books). The graphic novel is the latest addition to Molloy’s Mr Unpronounceable series, which garnered a cult following after Mr Unpronounceable and the Sect of the Bleeding Eye won Best Graphic Novel at the Aurealis Awards in 2015. Inspired by bad dreams, horror, and science fiction, Howe’s fantastical psychedelic illustrations are reminiscent of Moebius and Metalocalypse. The artist depicts the frightening and grotesque through a colorful animated medium that allows him to experiment with psychological ideas and emotions.

Check out more works from the show below:

Tim Molloy, Musician, watercolor and Indian ink on watercolor paper. Size - approx. 15 x 21 cm (5.9” x 8.2”)

Jake Hempson Pisces Hand finished 3D print, printed with a selective laser sintering. Limited edition of 12. Size - approx. 13.4 x 13.4 x 25 cm (5.3” x 5.3” x 9.8”)

The show opens on June 25 and runs at the beinArt Gallery until July 19th. For more, head over the the gallery’s website.

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