This summer sees the Teylers Museum in the Netherlands curating and hosting an exhibition dedicated to the subject of mermaids. Running from last Saturday, 25 May through until 15th September 2013 the exhibition intends to “bring these mysterious beings to life for young and old in surprising modalities, from paintings to posters, from pictures to stuffed animals, from ‘genuine’ mermaid skeletons to fairy-tale movies and games.”
But there is one modality missing — a 3D printed mermaid. And thus, just around the corner from the Teylers Museum, anyone that wants to go in search of a 3D printed mermaid can pop into De Vries & De Vries, an antique shop specializing in Dutch and foreign topography, decorative prints and old illustrated books. It is here that renowned 3D printing artist, Eric van Straaten, is exhibiting his brand new sculpture — a contemporary ‘Little Mermaid’ passed out on a sun lounger.
I found the picture of the sculpture mesmerizing before I read that she is “passed out”! Then I came at it a little differently and it was only then that I noticed the empty Bacardi Breezer bottle and the fags!! And then I understood van Straaten’s own description of his work describing: “the apparent innocence of the scenes.” An interesting statement piece to say the least, my personal interpretation is that it illustrates utter beauty masking an inner darkness, a representation of western culture — with a fixation on how we look but with little regard for how badly we can often behave. Still, a captivating artwork nonetheless. Van Straaten is a true design talent, IMHO, considering particularly that his work is conceptualized digitally in 3D. He also has exceptional understanding of 3D printing and maximizing the tech’s effect through his art.
For anyone that wants to see the mermaid sculpture in person, De Vries & De Vries is open on Thursdays and Fridays from 11.00 am – 17.00 pm and on Saturdays from 13.00 – 17.30 pm.