Artist of the Day#62: Bert Simmons

A big focus of many video games is their ability to make graphics in the game look like real life. This ability started to really take off when designers got their hands on 3-D modeling software. This enables them to develop aspects of a shape from different angles in a fully 3-D environment. Not only has this technology been used on video games, it is used in all of the popular digitally animated movies that are making billions of dollars. Well one interesting artist, Bert Simmons, decided he was going to use these same resources, and sort of reverse engineer it towards making something in the real world.

The finished pieces of Art are very life-like, even with their slight geometric distortions. To me, the fact they aren’t perfect, makes them more human and approachable, more playful. And one of the things that I really like about his work, is that Simmons is very revealing about his process. He isn’t trying to make it seem like he was granted some sort of mystical powers on a mountain top, he shows you how he did it. It is very inspiring in my opinion. On his website, he even gives you the resources and instructions to build your own Bert Simmons sculpture at home. Simmons says the “clone” sculptures were his answer to a mid-life crisis. Now there are Bert Simmonses all over the planet that will never die.

So where did this idea come from? His website is in Dutch, and google translate isn’t good enough yet, so it’s hard to get his point of view, if he even shares it. So I will give you my theory. I think Bert spent too many hours trying to make things look real on various 3-D modeling programs, that he just snapped and wanted to make something that he could actually hold and touch. It is that important break in sanity that so much artistic inspiration owes credit to. Why should I make this digital image look like real life, when I can make real life look like a digital image instead?

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