Inspired and informed by Vincent van Gogh’s 1888 “Sunflowers” painting (housed in London’s National Gallery), artist duo Rob and Nick Carter‘s bronze interpretation of the iconic post-impressionist artwork is part of a larger series that looks to re-engage with art of the past. The pair’s exhibition, “Transforming,” is now on display at London’s Fine Art Society and combines new media and technology with classic art—creating something entirely new, but still familiar. “Sunflowers” is one of several artworks that was only possible to conceive and create thanks to a long-running collaborative relationship forged with creative visual effects studio MPC, which is best known for its work on computer generated imagery for scenes in films such as Ang Lee’s “Life of Pi” and Marc Foster’s apocalyptic zombie film, “World War Z.”
MPC worked closely with the the Carters to translate one of van Gogh’s painted images of sunflowers into 3D digital files. These files were then 3D-printed and it is the finely detailed prints that were cast in order to create the final artwork. The piece is one of the most complex and intricately detailed bronze artworks ever created, as it even features some of van Gogh’s brushstrokes from the painting.
“In some ways it was a very succinct and uncomplicated brief,” says MPC’s 3D Creative Director Jake Mengers, “yet under the surface lay a myriad complex challenges. These included translating an impressionist approach to a 3D sculpture, adapting van Gogh’s signature brushstrokes to three dimensional sculpts and applying creative license to the areas that aren’t visible in the original 1888 painting.” To create the bronze replica, the team at MPC first built a computer generated “base mesh”—this is essentially a 3D model from which the production team could work out the volume of the piece and how the flowers filled a 3D space. The key was to create balance from all angles; ensuring it would be compositionally attractive from every viewpoint, whilst ensuring that looking from one angle means the artwork remains true to van Gogh’s painting. Eventually, the 3D file was printed with a resin material called Visijet-X using a high-end ProJet 3500 printer which can print to a tolerance of 16 microns. The final sculpture—in an edition of 12—is cast in silicon bronze….”
We are angry, frustrated, and in pain because of the violence and murder of Black people by the police because of racism. We are in the fight AGAINST RACISM. George Floyd was murdered, his life stolen. The Adafruit teams have specific actions we’ve done, are doing, and will do together as a company and culture. We are asking the Adafruit community to get involved and share what you are doing. The Adafruit teams will not settle for a hash tag, a Tweet, or an icon change. We will work on real change, and that requires real action and real work together. That is what we will do each day, each month, each year – we will hold ourselves accountable and publish our collective efforts, partnerships, activism, donations, openly and publicly. Our blog and social media platforms will be utilized in actionable ways. Join us and the anti-racist efforts working to end police brutality, reform the criminal justice system, and dismantle the many other forms of systemic racism at work in this country, read more @ adafruit.com/blacklivesmatter
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.