Tuesday, August 27, 2013


McCahon wouldn’t be much use. Nor would Mrkusich. Albrecht, nah, and you can forget Walters. But an early Binney or a Dashper work on velvet? Now you’re talking. Welcome to the world of 3D printing and, in this case, printing paintings. 

The Observer points out this is now a reality and in Amsterdam poor old Van Gogh, always a market leader when it comes to art museums trying to shill money out of art, is one of the first on the block. For $44,000 you can take your pick. Want a 3D reproduction of Van Gogh’s Almond Blossom or a late 1880s Sunflowers? Perhaps The Harvest or even Wheatfield under Thunderclouds is the one for you. Then there is always Boulevard de Clichy (they even reproduce the frame) waiting for your cash on the nail. If you are a VG expert it might pay not to peer too closely, but for anyone who is likely to pony up that sort of cash for a 3D repro these will probably pass muster.

But please, don’t go into the Van Gogh Museum expecting to buy one of the masterpieces from their collection in three dimensions. They are far too classy (#strategic) for that. Even though each of the 260 edition ‘art works’ are numbered and approved by a VG museum curator, when the series was put to market in Hong Kong recently the curators wisely chose to flog them in a shopping mall. 

Other museums are said to be panting at the thought of getting works in their collections out into this lucrative market.  Don McLean got it “But I could have told you Vincent / This world was never meant for one as beautiful as you.”
Image: showing Walters  (left) and Binney (right) as 3D reproductions. (simulation only)