David Aberg: A Sculptor of the Digital Realm


A digital sculptor and 3D animator, Swedish artist David Aberg spent almost a decade honing his craft: staying up-to-date on the constantly evolving technology and learning the outlines of the human body to be able to digitally render corporal parts with anatomical precision. “I am a sculptor who creates sculptures that don’t exist in real life. Technology allows me to create these artworks in exceptional detail, to make them look entirely believable in virtual media.”

artist David Aberg

David loves digital space. “It is interactive. I can navigate in that space. It is a parallel world created by humans; an electronic version of reality. You can put on a VR headset and walk into it.”

What is Our Reality? Are we Living in a Simulation?

As the technology develops, it also raises some philosophical questions. Because of his intimate interaction with it, David contemplates, “What is our reality? Are we living in a simulation? Absolutely! I think we have this technology to mirror ourselves, to be more conscious about who and what we are.”

David blends imagery from the corners of sci-fi and fantasy, brings up references to art history and his contemporaries, and makes allusions to advertising and the fashion and beauty industry. He is trying to create an otherworldly image, something that is more beautiful than reality. Mixing them with contemporary culture gives the ancient myths a modern upgrade. “Mine is just another version of mythology; it’s just different aesthetics than the ancient times: different clothing, different types of creatures. More in the contemporary context.”

Zombierina, Ultra Fusion, and Chrysalis are all projects in which the characters are closed off from the external world, frozen and in a mental state of repression. But there is no sadness, it’s in these rich inner mental realities they find strength and power to transform themselves into something beautiful and different, or maybe even a truer version of themselves.” This theme of metamorphosis is prominent within David’s work.

 

In the Chrysalis video, for example, the woman with a cat’s hand has emerged from within a cracked pupal case. Chrysalis (or pupa) is a life stage for a butterfly, where it transforms from a larva into an adult. Likewise, the woman is becoming her spirit animal, which stands guard on her shoulders. In David’s latest work Brittle Black Moon Rising the transformation cycle is complete and the body breaks open into a full blossom to let out the Brittle Black Moon, which embodies a sensitive personality and all its emotions. It was expanding and rising within, while all we could observe was the stillness. And then the moment of explosive transformation, in all its delirious intensity, looks like the creation of the Universe.

Brittle Black Moon Rising, a 4min-41sec video shot with a single camera move, took him a year to complete. The artist sculpted everything from slabs of digital clay in ZBrush; did all the animation, texturing, lighting, and material setup; and lastly, added color grading and other camera effects in the post-production stage working in Adobe After Effects. The music, custom original score, was a collaboration with his friend, artist Ayno Goze, musician and sound-designer.

Until recently, he had not made a physical object, wanting to raise a question about realities. When you look at the prints of his sculptures, you may think they were photographs of the actual objects, but they aren’t. In Ultra Fusion, the room, where the sculpture stands, looks like a space in a gallery. “Everything is made like if it was a physical reality where I am sculpting, painting. But it becomes a photograph; it becomes an animation. Just recently, I started to explore 3D printing, which I am going to continue exploring more. Maybe doing 3D printing in plastic and then transferring it to marble or stone. And integrate it, having photographs, animations and objects, going back and forth between the spaces: the virtual space and the real.”

www.davidaberg.se

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