Cyborgs and Fossilized Monsters: Nick Ervinck’s 3D Printed Sculptures
Belgian artist Nick Ervinck explores the boundaries between the physical and the imaginary, the traditional and the modern, architecture and sculpture. Constantly pushing the frontiers on what is spatially possible, he is a pioneer in the use of 3D Printing in art. Although we first collaborated with him in 2008 for his artwork GNIURKS_S, Materialise had the honor of collaborating with him again for his two newest creations: LAPIRSUB and NOITALS.
Reminiscent of something that might spring from a science fiction movie, both sculptures are fundamentally different to one another, yet they still retain that similarity in vision which indicates they have both originated from the same creative mind. We used Laser Sintering to create the pieces, while Ervinck executed the finishing touches himself.
LAPIRSUB brings to mind a dreadlocked-cyborg; it’s a creature from another world. With a bright exoskeleton in Ervinck’s characteristic yellow, the sculpture is an outlandish mix of the innovative and the classic, as it brings to mind a stately bust, albeit one that has been modeled and printed in 3D.
NOITALS is a touch more abstract. It is reminiscent of the skeleton of an eerie prehistoric animal, and just like the Rorschach inkblots, different onlookers will perceive different things in its geometry. Similar to LAPIRSUB, it links back to the past by presenting an homage to Eadweard J. Muybridge, the inventor of the Zoopraxiscope and photography pioneer, as it aims to create movement and dynamism in a static object.
The originality of his sculptures is largely due to the balancing act Ervinck manages to perform between classic art and modern technology. While learning about art as a student, he became fascinated with computers and digital design. Yet, he still retains that dimension of craftsmanship as he finishes each printed part by hand and incorporates traditional elements of sculpture such as a pedestal.
In addition to our longstanding collaboration with Nick Ervinck, an increasing amount of artists and designers are turning to 3D Printing to bring their creations to life. It is a technology which affords a freedom of design that is simply impossible when using traditional means. It is also ideal for easily producing the unique and the individual with industrial-grade quality. Is 3D Printing the art form of the future? It’s too early to tell, but it certainly has the potential to be.