3D printed surrealistic sculptures

The digital sculptor Eric van Straaten (1969, Leiden) makes surreal images that are created with a 3D printer. He lives and works in Haarlem. His work has been exhibited during major national and international exhibitions and is well known in the world of 3D-printing.

Eric van Straaten; ' My first encounter with 3D-printing was accidental. My then girlfriend, the artist Jennifer Hoes, was invited to participate in a design competition by TNO (Dutch research organisation) and there the 3D printing process was explained. There was also the possibility for printing your own design. I was at that time working on getting to design a doll called a 'Balljoint Doll' which could move the body parts through balls, and it seemed to me a good idea to make us of the opportunity and print the doll. That went so well that I have gone through with it '.

In the 3D print technique in which he works, layers of gypsum are stuck together with ink. As a result, this is the only technique in which you can print in colour directly. The 3D-printing of delicate and hand coloured models are far from being just a touch of a button, but requires considerable technical skill. Therefore only a few are specialized in this technique and there is currently no artist who transits this as far as Eric van Straaten.

3D printed sculptures

There is no other technique that reaches such a high degree of hyper (sur)realism as 3D-modelling. 3D printing is the only technique that allows virtual images really to be physically touchable. Physical expressiveness in form and content is the main strength of the work of Eric van Straaten: while the images remain to keep a certain digital feeling, a strange eroticising physicality stands central. Balancing on the edge of kitsch, resonates the marzipan-like quality of the material very nicely with the apparent innocence of the staging.

Eric van Straaten: 'Art that works for me, is always multi layered. I like it when at first glance, there appears to be just one (mostly beautiful) 'truth', but when you look deeper, there is something else going on at the same time. How greater the artwork is, the bigger the difference between the apparent truth and reality of the whole.'

Angry Bird, 2012 (19*)

19-angry-bird h200

Dimension: 24 x 30 x 20 cm
Material: 3D printed multcolor composite
Edition: 1
Price: € 750,00 a piece (special 3D expo price)

Glaucoma, 2011 (20*)

20-glaucoma h200

Dimension: 19 x 30 x 18 cm
Material: 3D printed multcolor composite
Edition: 3 (Europe), 3 (other territory)
Price € 1.250,00 a piece (special 3D expo price)

Fit, 2012 (21*)

21-fit h200

Dimension: 34 x 25 x 15 cm
Material: 3D printed multcolor composite
Edition: 3 (Europe), 3 (other territory)
Price: € 1.000,00 a piece (special 3D expo price)