SLS 3D print
68 x 35 x 43 cm
26.8 x 13.8 x 16.9 inches
By combining fragmentary elements from the past with a futuristic imagery, a fascinating cyborg-sculpture came into being. Nick Ervinck incorporates past, present and future in this sculpture. At the same time, the work can be placed in an ancient sculptural tradition because of the similarities with the classical portrait bust. With its majestic posture, impressive armour and piercing gaze, LAPIRSUB towers over the visitor as a heroic god statue from the future.
The surreal image entails a certain mythical power by referring to knights, science fiction and manga figures. While designing the sculpture, Nick Ervinck was inspired by robots, aliens, monsters and mysterious creatures that were created by artists like H. R. Giger, creatures that play the leading role in many science fiction movies in the struggle for dominion over the earth. On the other hand, the geometric yet monumental visual language refers to the traditional helmets, jewellery and images from ancient cultures, such as the masks and sculptures from the Inca and Mayan culture.
Multiple fragmentary pieces and hundreds of hours of manual computer-aided drawing were needed to achieve this impressive sculpture. Through the use of the latest computer software and 3D printing techniques, Nick Ervinck is able to design and execute the complex work. The visual language catches the eye of the visitors, as if their gaze seems to get lost in the structures and shapes. Because of the visual appealing design, the works can be viewed from different angles and perspectives.
An interesting sculptural story is also created because of the oppositions organic – mechanical, rust – shiny, rough – smooth. LAPIRSUB consists of a mutated, mechanical skeleton that is held together by rusty, steel veins, which are protected by a shiny yellow armour. The contrast between the rust-coloured metal and the and the shiny appearance of the harness adds an extra dimension to the work. The hair of the sculpture is also designed in the same metal-like structure, while the visual references to hair styles from different cultures such as dreadlocks are also easily recognizable.
Next to the poetic design language, there is also a critical social dimension inherent in this sculpture. With artificial intelligence now being ubiquitous, the work reflects on the growing integration of technology in our society – and in our bodies. This evolution offers endless possibilities and solutions for the future. Revolutionary technologies and artificial intelligence could potentially solve important problems in our society, such as climate change, poverty or even mortality. At the same time, this search for a modified ‘super human’ cannot remain without consequences.
Furthermore, LAPIRSUB also reflects on the history of sculpture. With this work, the idea of the classic portrait bust is being transformed. Nick Ervinck explores how he can transcend or continue the traditional craftsmanship of the past. By using the latest innovations in 3D printing, he is able to create almost any type of intricate geometry or ornament. Since these sculptures can only be spatially realized through 3D modelling and printing, they form a direct challenge to classical sculpture. On the other hand, his 3D prints are also the result of meticulous craftsmanship. Parts that are 3D printed are painted by hand, a process that requires patience and precision. Ervincks work reinvents classical sculpture through a cross-fertilisation between innovation and tradition and does so in a purely contemporary context.