Remixing Classic Portraits

3D Printed Sculptures Bring Classic Portraits to Life


Classic portraits are being given a modern twist thanks to an artist who is restyling his subjects and 3D printing the results.

Daniel Warnecke, a Contemporary Photography Graduate, creates pieces which bring old traditions to meet new technologies. And he’s mixed in our modern society and customs, too.

His work is interesting as he taks famous paintings and restyled them with examples such as turning Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring into a ripped-jean wearing millennial and Van Gogh into a modern hipster.

These updates are 3D printed and then photographed which aims to break “the generic and subjective tendencies of the mini statues by reintroducing elements of traditional portraiture which are absent in this process.”

Warnecke told The Creators Project: “This is to emphasize the fact that we may be led down new paths as creators through contemporary processes and innovative methods, but also we must look at why the masters were so successful to understand what it takes to create great portraiture and make it count.”

How are these Modern Classic Paintings Made?

van gogh2

First of all, the model is styled by the artists. Then they are scanned by simultaneously using 240 DSLR cameras. After some editing, the resulting file ist sent to 3D printing. The 3D printed figurines are then photographed, creating new, interesting results.

Warnecke explains on his website that it is supposed to create a tension and irony within the work as the two pieces of art are exhibited alongside each other.

He says the aim of this is: “By showing the sitters in two different viewing styles, one sculptural, the audience is forced to consider the entirety of the form as it holds spatial complex dimensions.”


His work is currently on view at London private club Searcys. However, if you’re interested in checking out Warnecke’s work for yourself, you can catch it at Birthdays in Dalston on April 26th, or at the GX Gallery Camberwell on May 4th.

Warnecke writes: “My studio and collaborators in making the work, Backface, have also just been awarded the Guinness world record for the worlds largest 3D printed person. So is it an exciting time for us now as the possibilities for 3D printing are endless.”

Let us know what you think of this work and the possibilities of 3D printing in art in the comments.