Apr 16, 2016 | By Tess

While looking at one of contemporary Italian artist Guido Salimbeni’s paintings straight on, one might be inclined to think it was just a regular paint on canvas artwork, and though his pictorial talents might impress, one might simply continue walking past his work. Upon walking past it, however, the perspective of the painting might seem to suddenly change, as though parts of the seemingly 2 dimensional surface are protruding, even coming to life. This optical feat which characterizes much of Salimbeni’s beautiful artworks and which can captivate viewers, was achieved by artfully combining classical painting practices with, you guessed it, innovative 3D printing technologies.

"Bird Splash" painting

Guido Salimbeni is an Italian artist based in Florence who has worked with both traditional oil painting techniques and modern 3D modeling and 3D printing techniques. His artworks, which vary in style and in subject matter, represent a merging of old and new and showcase the aesthetic possibilities of introducing a new technical method, 3D printing, to an age-old form of art, painting.

Salimbeni’s process consists of several stages, including first painting parts of his artwork on his canvas, then 3D modeling any parts he wants to emphasize with light or increased depth. Once 3D modeled, Salimbeni sends his designs to be 3D printed by services such as Belgium-based i.Materialise, and once manufactured he secures the pieces to his painting where he paints over them, perfectly fitting them into his composition.

"Jar" painting

“My aim is to create visual tension in my painting through the use of subjects that have elements of ambiguity, mystery or complexity,” explains the artist. “I always introduce 3D printed pieces on top of the canvas to achieve and enhance this visual tension. These subtle 3D printed elements introduce optical illusions in terms of unclear space, overlapping objects, distortion of depth and a wider range of lighting values.”

As mentioned, the 3D effect of the paintings becomes most apparent when looking at them from an angle, and is a striking way of drawing the eye towards certain parts of the painting. In his painting “The Cardinal in the Snow” pictured below, the 3D printed part, though well hidden, was additively manufactured from a multicolor sandstone material and has been seamlessly attached to the wood panel on which Salimbeni painted. He explains of the painting’s deliberate composition, “The idea is to create a perception of depth using a central perspective but interrupted by unexpected and illogical elements, like the snowflakes placed in front of the tail. The rest of the snow is falling behind the bird. The front part of the body of the bird is protruding outward so there is a subtle, illogical overlapping of elements, where the snow is falling both behind and in front of the bird and yet the bird is physically the most outward element of the painting.”

"Red Cardinal in the Snow"

Salimbeni has also worked with other materials as well, having used a transparent resin material to mimic the effect of water over a painting, as seen in his “Water Drops” artwork, and polyamide, which he can easily paint over by hand.

Salimbeni is one of a number of innovative artists using 3D printing technologies to create stunning and thought provoking works. Other notable 3D printing artists include Delphine Diallo and her amazing 3D printed mask photography, Megumi Igarashi and her 3D printed vagina art,  and Dario Santacroce and his philosophical 3D printed spherical forms.

"Water Drops" artwork

"Watering Can" artwork



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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