3D Printing

2 Artists sculpt the Digital Age in 8 Bits and 3 Dimensions

Artists Adam Lister and Isaac Budmen have created a striking new series of 3D prints based on famous historical paintings and pop culture icons, with a bit of a twist of course. Breaking Bad’s Walter White, Superman, the Mona Lisa, American Gothic and even ET start off as 8 bit paintings and then get printed into the third dimension.

Breaking Bad 8 Bits 3 Dimensions 3D Printed

8 Bits, 3 Dimensions is a true collaboration between two artists — each piece starts as a re-interpretation of classic paintings or iconic characters painted in the visually striking style of classic 8-bit video games. Originally painted by Lister to capture the essence of the digital age, his original watercolour paintings represent the beginning of our modern digital world. Budmen then converts the paintings by hand into a 3D rendered object. It finally comes full circle when 3D printed at the Shapeways store in stunning full-colour sandstone, becoming a physical object representative of the next leap in our digital evolution.

American Gothic 8 Bits 3  3D Printed

The process for printing in sandstone is pretty simple, a gypsum-based powder is used as a base and printed layer by layer using a binding material and coloured ink. Then it is coated with a layer of super glue to seal the print and to enhance the colors. The super glue makes the print highly durable, however Shapeways does suggest that it isn’t for every day touching and should not be exposed to water.

The results of the two artists collaboration are honestly, pretty great. I’ve seen a lot of cool, unique and interesting 3D printed art in the last few years, but I think this is probably the first time that I’ve had an actual desire to own some of it. Consider that Kirk/Spock print added to my Amazon wish-list.

8 Bits 3 Dimensions 3D Printed

Considering how close the two artists’ visions blended, it comes as quite a shock to me that they have never actually met in person. All of their collaborations and correspondence happened completely, and appropriately, in digital space. Whether that was by design, circumstance or necessity is irrelevant, the fact that it was able to happen at all is kind of the point. We’ve come a long way from 8 bits.

I’d encourage you to visit the artists website, and if you’re so inclined pick up one of their awesome prints. They range from $90.00 to $125.00, and are a steal at twice the price. Seriously, I have a birthday coming up and an empty spot on my shelf. For Kirk and Spock.