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“I believe there is no other technique that can achieve the level of hyper surrealism as is made possible in 3D computer modeling. Industrial 3D printing is the only technique that can be used to make full color digital models tangible, close to the original design. I aim for physical expressiveness in my sculptures, while preserving a certain digital feel. It has been said that my sculptures contain a weirdly eroticized corporeality, although the models are completely virtual. Like Barbie, they will never be real human, nor will they be based on a real human. They are a complete figment of my imagination. Balancing on the edge of kitsch, the marzipan-like quality of the material resonates beautifully with the apparent innocence of the scenery.”


Digital sculptor Eric van Straaten exclusively works in full color 3D printing. Up until 2010, he sculpted detailed statues by hand before mastering the art of 3D printing. Van Straaten’s work was soon picked up by several known galleries and collectors.

Full color 3D printing is not as simple as perceived. Digital files are extremely difficult to process and operating 3D printers requires in depth technical knowledge. Due to the fragility of sculptures right out of the machine, intensive post processing is required to achieve both strength and a beautiful finish. Because full color 3D printing is very difficult to master and the outcome relies on extensive technical knowledge and handicraft, Eric van Straaten is at this moment the only artist able to produce art grade full color 3D printed sculptures.


Although the sculptures of Eric van Straaten are published in usually an edition of 8, due to variables in the 3D printing technique and extensive postprocessing by hand, every 3D printed sculpture is unique. The material used is industrial gypsum infused with industrial glue and coated in UV-resistant wax. The color is produced during 3D printing and consists of industrial CMYK-ink. Small unevenesses, rings and spots are part of the current standard in 3D-printing. Discolorations over time can occur due to unknown parameters in relation to the new technique. The material is extremely sensitive to water, keep out of direct sunlight and humid environments. Sculptures are best kept in a airtight (perspex) box.


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Sometimes, if I find it interesting, I take on commissions of customers who want something special. I did some remakes of previous designs, but also new works inspired by for instance other artists or based on personal wishes. If you are interested in a possible commission, don’t hesitate to contact me.

One of the first commissions I did, were requested to be inspired by two works by Ray Caesar. The first one is called ‘Sleeping by day’, the customer specifically wanted me to do something with the hanging upside down and the ‘Batman’ mask:

A swing standing on its own would be very difficult to produce in 3D print, so I came up with the idea to put a girl in a cage. This piece was called ‘Girlcage’ and I think, although it is clearly inspired by the piece by Ray Caesar, it is original enough to stand on its own. The idea of a ‘vampire girl’ I translated into a girl that has just finished eating (a man?) and nibbling on a bone:

The second piece was inspired on ‘Wallflowers study above’, also by Ray Caesar:

And this is what I came up with. I really like the chair and the three textured boys hiding underneath:

A third big commission I was asked to do a present for “the god-father of pop surrealism” Mark Ryden. The piece of about one meters high had to consist of a portrait of a young Mr. Ryden, surrounded by characters featured in his paintings: