In his life-sized sculptures of animals, Shawn Smith filters the natural world through digital systems creating pixelated animal sculptures.
Working in the form of 3D printing and handcrafted wood, Smith locates two-dimensional images of fauna on the Internet and constructs three-dimensional versions of them. Many of his sculptures are constructed with hand-colored strips of wood that function as voxels, building blocks of the larger compositions that give them a pixelated appearance. The works are counter-intuitive, relying on the handmade to allude to the digital, and creating tension between an object’s miniature components and its holistic form.
Shawn Smith was born in 1972 in Dallas, TX where he attended Arts Magnet High School and Brookhaven College before graduating from Washington University in St. Louis, MO with a BFA in Printmaking in 1995. Smith received his MFA in Sculpture from the California College of the Arts in San Francisco in 2005.
These works are composed of small pieces of wood that smith sculpts together, treating them as individual pixels to form one complete image. Smith focuses on how we experience nature through technology and therefore a lot of his piece are representations of animals and objects of nature. He calls these pieces ‘re-things’ and he sculpts them based on images he finds online.
The artist says: “in my building process, I start with a full sheet of material like plywood or MDF and cut it into 1/2″ strips of varying lengths–typically 1/2″ to 2′ long. I then hand dye each strip of wood individually with dyes mixed from ink and acrylic paint. I mix each color by hand to create a huge palette of colors in order to give the sculpture more depth and visual interest before assembling the object.”
Meet pixelated furniture HERE!