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Meet the Giant 3D-Printed Zoetrope Inspired by a Gruesome Painting

Mat Collishaw's 'All Things Fall,' a 350-piece zoetrope, depicts the biblical infanticide ordered by King Herod.
May 15, 2015, 1:45pm

British artist Mat Collishaw has created an insanely detailed 3D-printed zoetrope, All Things Fall, featuring 350 figures, elements, and architectural forms. Created over the course of six months, it was originally shown at Collishaw's solo exhibition Black Mirror at Rome's Galleria Borghese earlier this year. In the video above, which was recently uploaded to Vimeo by Sebastian Burdon (a 3D modeller and animator on the piece), you can see the incredible intricacy of the behemoth carousel in action. When spun at a certain speed, the miniature sculptural forms, each staggered at a different stage of movement, analog-animate into an integrated (and horrific) whole.

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The gruesome and violent scene it depicts take its inspiration from Flemish Baroque painter Peter Paul Rubens' Massacre of the Innocents works, two paintings based on the Biblical story of King Herod's pre-emptive order to slaughter all of the male children in Bethlehem.

Collishaw's epic interprets this classical work with a mixture of Victorian illusion and modern technology. Speaking to Factum, the artist explained, "The Massacre of the Innocents paintings thrive on the repetition of characters spread across the canvas. They are designed to excite our emotions and to keep our eyes moving around the surface in an agitated manner without intimacy and with no focal point. The zoetrope capitalizes on this, literally repeating characters to create an overwhelming orgy of violence that is simultaneously appalling and compelling."

Rubens Massacre of the Innocents. Image via Wikipedia

Via Vimeo

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