There is something about 3D printed art, regardless of whether people agree on whether or not it actually counts as art, that always opens up the most amazing sense of wonder in me, from the tallest sculptures to some of the smallest, powerful and strange. pieces I’ve laid eyes on. Many 3D artists take inspiration from the natural world around them and create works of art that are reminiscent of living things outside.
German artist Martin Binder is one of these artists and he drew inspiration from the birch tree for his latest installation, titled “Portrait of a Birch Tree”. I personally find birch trees lovely, with their white bark and delicate leaves, so I fully understand Binder’s inspiration. Some of the other non-3D printed pieces of his have also been inspired by birch trees.
Living abroad in Canada, Finland, India, Italy and Russia, Binder has a degree in graphic and product design from the Free University of Bolzano in Italy and is part of the Office for Art in Public Spaces in Berlin.
“Portrait of a Birch” is a four meter long sculpture, created with a composite material of wood and plastic; the wood in the filament is actually birch wood, which adds to its realistic quality.
In my opinion, the piece is absolutely amazing, not only because of how much it looks like a real birch branch, but also because Binder created everything by hand with a 3D printing pen, which we already know is capable of producing stunning and innovative works of art.
The 3D-printed art installation is on display in the open-air exhibition space of Berlin’s gallery district. Since the facility is located in a public area, people can visit it at any time of the day. It took Binder more than 250 hours to complete the large-scale piece, which is hollow and weighs less than 2kg.
“I spend a lot of time on Instagram, where I consume images behind a glass screen. This work is a three-dimensional equivalent to digital media consumption. A fragment of a tree can be visually experienced behind the glass walls of the unconventional exhibition space,” explained Binder.
The 3D printed artwork bears a striking resemblance to a real birch tree, especially from afar, and has broken branches and blemishes just like you would find in nature. Binder spent a lot of time studying the structure of different birch trees to make sure the sculpture would turn out well.
Binder said, “My eyes were the 3D scanner and my hands were the 3D printer.”
Visitors can see the piece up close, though only through the glass of the exhibition space. But they can easily see every line of the 3D drawing, which Binder says is supposed to “raise the questions of natural and real, identity and originality.”
According to Binder’s website, “a large birch branch floats inside the greenhouse. The work critically and poetically questions the mutual reference of similarity, diversity and identity. The branch is a filigree imitation of a real birch branch, a copied fragment of a birch tree, consisting of a composite of plastic and birch wood, which is olfactory, haptic and visually very similar to the original material. The work raises questions about identity and originality: what is real, what do we perceive, why do we perceive something?
“The branch creates a reality that is disconnected from its original environment, like a three-dimensional cutout of something that may no longer exist. As manipulation, correction, affirmation, reproduction. Unlike its naturally established pattern, the three-dimensional birch branch is not subject to seasonal changes. It is monumental in size, and yet it is trapped in a house, cut from its trunk, but weathered as if it were still present.”
What do you think of this 3D printed art installation? Discuss this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts in the Facebook comments below.
[Source: DesignBoom / Images: Asef Oren]
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