Contemporary 3D artists and the digital revolution
The following artists are growing 3D artists and designers with a unique edge to their work - whether a focus on ecological sustainability, rave culture or serenity, the following three artists are ones to keep watch on over the next few years.
Astral projection ︵‿୨💙୧‿︵, Paola Pina, 2021
Niko, Paola Pina, 2020
Emotional Alexis, Paola Pina, 2021
Paola Pinna is a digital artist and 3D designer educated in London and now based in Cagliari, Italy. She describes her mission as “exploring the meaning of being human today….the relationship between humans and machines, the internet and its subcultures” but also “conception, spirituality and aesthetics” in the 21st century. A recent post on her Instagram entitled ‘Astral projection’ is reminiscent of angels: the figures have the same ethereal beauty, yet it’s 3D medium and the addition of 21st-century items and machinery posits the piece entirely within the contemporary experience. This modern Baroque aesthetic is evident throughout much of her recent work, creating statuesque figures ensnared within machinery that transform classical art movements to 21st-century sensibilities. In collaboration with others, Pinna can produce art for a multitude of different audiences; in September 2020 she created numerous avatars for a Rico Nasty music video. Whilst her work generally focuses on character creation, this is not all she does: having recently collaborated with a brand that makes tarot cards, Pinna helped design the cards and helped with their advertising and branding. Her account also posts close-ups of clothes design and detail, such as these metal shaders and this chain.
Pinna is already an established and growing artist, active in creating avatars and art for the fashion industry - such as 2020 Helsinki Fashion Week, being recognised in Teen Vogue and Vice Italy for her contributions. To Pinna, 3D modelling software is “the only technique that allows [her] to create absolutely anything without restrictions” - this medium allows her to realise characters and visions hitherto impossible in the physical world, and often with much less waste than conventional methods.
New religion 🤧, Paola Pina, 2021,
Lyra, Paola Pina, 2020
she only played dva 😢, Paola Pina, 2020
She emphasises the ecological potential of adopting 3D forms of content creation, especially within fashion as demonstrated in Helsinki Fashion Week; in a talk for TEDx Russia Pinna explained the importance of using digital tools to promote sustainability and how such tools create less waste, and more scope to create inclusivity. “Digital artists are likely going to be the pioneers of a future world that promotes inclusivity, sustainability, and a safe place for people to express themselves.” 3D modelling is more, then, than an easier method of creating art: it represents a shift towards sustainability and awareness in how such industries can affect the planet.
DECONSTRUCTION 🔋, Alexandre Lucenet, 2021
CRACKAGE // Night Raverz 👁, Alexandre Lucenet,2021
EGYPTIAN GARDIEN // 💸, Alexandre Lucenet, 2021
This second artist embodies how experimental the medium of 3D design can be. Where Pinna primarily focuses on creating realistic figures, @_aliendope - otherwise known as Alexandre - creates deconstructed, disassembled faces and figures that do not attempt to resemble human faces. Based in Montreal, Alexandre is a 3D artist and motion designer whose work is inspired by rave culture, having recently shifted towards more avant-garde creations. Metal, barbed wire, latex and armour are common garments for his figures. His deconstructive portraiture has a distinctive cyberpunk aesthetic, creating futuristic robots; this piece literally deconstructs the face into an automated machine with individual eyes and mouth, powered by a series of tiny running men on the ‘neck’, whereas pieces such as ‘About angriness’ merge faces together in a human collage to create striking visuals that are instantly recognisable. Much of his new work focuses on the eyes. ‘BEHIND THE EYES’ and ‘INSANITY’ both deconstruct the human face and exaggerate the eyeballs. The former melds three faces into one, with the three sets of eyes being the only part of the figure with added colour - highlighting vision and perception within an otherwise monochromatic figure. The latter sees the face fill and deflate with eyeballs over and over, underneath a halo of barbed wire - another common feature within his work.
T’sais quand tu sors du son là mais en fait non parce que y’a pu d’son,
Alexandre Lucenet, 2021
BETWEEN TWO MAYA TEMPLES 🇲🇽, Alexandre Lucenet, 2021
DON’T BELIEVE THE PROPAGANDA, Alexandre Lucenet, 2020
Describing himself as ‘trippin in a lost paradise’ and tagging some pieces as being inside Berghain, he has a core aesthetic but can also appeal to different demographics. His mock-up cover CRACKAGE focuses on his core rave aesthetic, whereas other covers such as ‘EGYPTIAN GARDIEN’ are more muted, with a definite focus on high fashion editorials. He also works as a tattoo artist alongside his motion design. Whilst he is established in the rave genre, his work is not one-note and has the flexibility to adapt to different audiences as needed.
shadow play, Geran Atkinson, 2021
Reinterpretation, Larry Sultan Editorial Dr. Ivo Pitanguy / 2008, Geran Atkinson, 2021
glass brick bedroom, Geran Atkinson, 2021
Where Alexandre focuses on intricacies and cyberpunk-esque aesthetic, this next artist utilises serenity, empty space and pastel colours. @pixel__milk, otherwise known as Geran Atkinson, creates dreamy 3D figures and environments with pastel colour schemes. Her recent work focuses on reinterpreting other artists within a 3D design format - for example, this piece reinterprets D’heygere earrings, creating close-ups as well as zoomed out images that encompass the entire earring. She is an expert in utilising empty space: much of his work, such as ‘drinking glass’, is taken up with soft, empty backgrounds that draw attention to isolated objects. The subjects of his work appear to be the intersection of lived, suburban environments with nature - ‘yellowish’ is one such obvious example, yet less obvious pieces such as his reinterpretation of a 2008 Larry Sullivan Editorial is a video that tracks the movement of the sun within a lived space. Documenting how the sun interacts with a human home - an intersection between the suburbs and nature. Each piece has a thoughtful colour scheme, either being monochromatic or adopting harmonious pastels. Something I like about her work is how one image is not the final product; multiple angles and perspectives are experimented with, creating a truly 3D vision. This is evident in ‘Glass brick bedroom’: an ethereal, glass-lined bedroom with soft, pastel pink pillows strewn about the floor. Rendered with muted pink and blue colours, the scene emanates serenity. This environment is visualised from different angles, this particular perspective framing the bedroom akin to a panopticon. The contrast between the soft pillows and harsh glass walls creates a beautiful contrast - yet the environment is entirely delicate.
girl with purple hair, Geran Atkinson, 2021
yellowish, Geran Atkinson, 2020
Her work also reinterprets figures, such as catwalk or runway models, within the same 3D environment: this rendering of brand Dion Lee’s runway look is described as ‘utopian’, setting the model barefoot on a beach-esque landscape. A closer up angle focusses on the model’s legs and how the fabric folds across the knee, illuminated by light akin to a sunset. Another angle entirely interprets the model from ‘under ice’ - the figure is entirely blurred, the focus being on how the model interacts with his environment.
For more from these artists, visit their Instagram profiles:
Follow Elliot on his Instagram @el.iott