The grandest spaces in the whole of the mighty Victoria and Albert Museum are the Cast Courts, built high enough to hold a full-scale replica of Trajan’s Column in Rome, which is colossal even in two pieces. No less imposing are the London museum’s 19th-century copies of Michelangelo’s David, not to mention its duplicates of Viking carvings and even the entire front of a Spanish cathedral. All these casts, which were recently cleaned, are a curious spectacle. But there’s one exhibit here that brings the world of the fake, and all the questions the subject provokes, up to date: an eerily precise 3D print of a nude statue of Pauline Bonaparte, sister of French military leader Napoleon, by the neo-classical artist Canova. This lovely replica is the work of British-born, Madrid-based artist and tech pioneer Adam Lowe. By placing it here, the V&A is recognizing that Lowe is reinventing the much-misunderstood practice of copying. Indeed, Lowe takes the fine art remake to such heights of accuracy, sensitivity and detail that even experts are fooled.
There are other people producing “perfect” digital images and 3D printed replicas. What makes Lowe different is that he’s also an artist, and his use of machines is always tempered by the human touch. He’s a trained painter who had his own career in art before founding his company Factum Arte, one of the leading “fabricators” of contemporary art, mixing digital magic and manual craft to realise the ideas of Marina Abramović, Grayson Perry, Anish Kapoor and others. When he makes tapestries for Perry, he does not just draw on his time spent micro-photographing Raphael’s great tapestry designs, he also brings his own artistic intuition.Painting world horsewhip album by adam lowePainting world caravaggio coming by lowe
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