Watch Robots Carve a Modern Michelangelo Masterpiece


Quayola has released the latest iteration of his ongoing Captives series, Captives #B04, which sees the artist’s interpretation of Michelangelo’s unfinished series Prigioni (1513-1534) and the Renaissance artist’s technique of “non-finite.” For the work, which was recently exhibited at the Artefact Festival at STUK, in Leuven, Belgium, the artist uses digital fabrication techniques and industrial robotics to carve figures emerging from EPS—a polystyrene-based—board. The results are what he calls “life-size ‘unfinished’ sculptures” of Michaelangelo’s classical figures.


“The work explores the tension and equilibrium between form and matter, man-made objects of perfection and complex, chaotic forms of nature,” explains Quayola on his website. “Whilst referencing Renaissance sculptures, the focus of this series shifts from pure figurative representation to the articulation of matter itself. As in the original ‘Prigioni’ the classic figures are left unfinished, documenting the very history of their creation and transformation.”




Another new release from the artist is the latest iteration of an ongoing print series. Called Iconographies #20, like withCaptives, it recontextulizes classical art, reformatting and exploring it through generative procedures and formulations.

Religious and scenes from mythology from the Baroque and Renaissance painters are refracted through mathematical processes to delve “beneath the iconographic layer to propose alternative versions of the actual paintings,” offering up a different, computational viewpoint.



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