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Sculptures 26 Jan, 2021
3d printed butterfly sculpture
The Concept Inspired by M.C. Escher’s work, this sculpture is an abstract reflection of one’s self. The entire course of one’s emotional development is displayed as a growing butterfly displaying patterns. Starting from the center and growing and expanding towards the edges, showing you more detail and patterns the closer you look. The Butterfly The development of that single butterfly is represented by 1395 unique butterflies throughout the entire sculpture. Each one different in shape and size and displays a unique moment of growth slightly different than the older or younger one. The patterns that are formed throughout one’s life are represented by the growth of the butterfly’s wings. Throughout its growth each wing starts displaying veins. This seemingly arbitrary development of the individual veins also form clear patterns. However, upon closer look the veins display patterns that are embedded within in the butterfly itself. The Shape While the shape of the sculpture represents one’s emotional growth in certain peaks, it also represents emotional traumas displayed by the sharp cuts through the butterflies. All this is amplified by the irregular sloping surface of the sculpture, pushing the growth upwards and forward and pushing the traumas down and to the back. The continuously changing surface of the sculpture makes it impossible to have the full overview of the development of the 1395 unique butterflies and therefore the overview of one’s self. The Specifics The sculpture consists of 25 uniquely shaped 3D printed pieces assembled together to form the intricate shape of the sculpture. The sculpture itself measures 165cm (5’5”) wide, 100cm (3’3”) tall and over 40cm (1’4”) in depth. From start to finish it took over 2000 hours to design, engineer and produce the sculpture, all done in house.
Estimate: $200 - $500

What is a sculpture?

Sculpture is defined as a medium of art that exists in 3 dimensions. Sculpture is considered a “plastic art,” meaning it involves the physical manipulation or moulding of a plastic medium, or a medium that can be carved or shaped such as wood, ceramic, stone, concrete or glass. The process of creating sculpture can be divided into two categories: reductive, where material is taken away from the original volume to reveal the finished product (like stone or wood carving) and additive, where material as added to itself or other material to create a finished product (like in clay/ceramic sculpting or merging metal).

The medium of sculpture began out of necessity. The first examples of pottery were created for cooking and food storage. As time progressed and man’s immediate needs began to be met with more ease, sculpture evolved into an art. Sculpture is central in religious culture and expression. Before literacy was a standard skill, sculpture, along with other art forms, helped convey religious and civil concepts. Sculpture, at its core, is a highly utilitarian and durable art form.

What are the different kinds of sculpture?

In-the-Round- also described as free-standing sculpture, such as statues, are not connected to any surface (except traditionally at a base). Free-standing sculptures, particularly from earlier eras, are made from durable materials and have therefore survived the test of time, but not without casualties. Most ancient and classical sculptures were painted, but where stone stood strong, paint chipped away. This led to centuries of aesthetic interest in white marble sculpture.

Relief- Relief sculpture is a reductive media in which the three-dimensional forms are attached to a background surface. Relief sculpture is classified by the depth of the reduced surface.

Kinetic- sculpture that depends on motion for effect. 

Cast- Casting is the process of pouring a liquid material into a mould containing the hollowed out cavity in the desired resultant shape.

What are the most commonly-used materials for sculpture?

Sculptures from the Classical periods were usually made from the most durable materials like bronze and other metals. Other popular and durable materials include stone, like marble, wood, bone and clay. Precious materials such as gold, jade and ivory were used for smaller, more luxurious works. 

Sculptures were often painted using a variety of techniques including tempera, oil, and enamel. Some sculptures were even decorated with gold leaf.

More contemporary sculptors like Picasso or Duchamp often incorporated found objects into their sculptures. Duchamp, in particular, invented a new type of sculpture called the “readymade” when he used found objects to exclusively construct his works.

What is the most expensive sculpture ever sold?

The top three most expensive sculptures ever sold came from the hand of Swiss  sculptor Alberto Giacometti. L'Homme au doigt, L'Homme qui marche I, and Chariot sold for $152.4 million, $122.3 million, and $109.1 million respectively. Living American sculptor Jeff Koons occupies two of the top ten spots with his sculptures Rabbit  and Balloon Dog (Orange),  which fetched $91.1 million and $58.4 million, respectively.


Lindsey Bourret is the Managing Director at Mearto. In addition to overseeing the daily operations of the business, she also enjoys sharing her extensive knowledge of the fine art and antiques market with our customers through our website, blog, e-newsletter and social media accounts.

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