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21st Century Portrait – by Joshua Harker

It wasn’t until the mid-15th century that artists really began to include themselves in their own artwork. An artist named Jan van Eyck is famous for creating the earliest known panel self-portrait. The date? Approximately 1433.

Over the last 600 years, the self-portrait has become quite common among painters, sculptors, and other artists. Today, one may say that the most common form of a self-portrait that exists is the “selfie.” Taking effectively no artistic ability, these semi-narcissistic self-photographs, taken mostly with smartphones, can portray us in times when we are in our most basic forms, or perhaps just lonely and bored.

One artist, named Joshua Harker, is known in the 3D printing industry as probably one of, if not the, most influential 3D printing artists and designers. He has created extraordinary 3D printed works of art that make you just stop and say, “Wow.” He has taken the idea of a self-portrait and created what he thinks is the modern-day version… and, thankfully, it’s not a “selfie.”

Harker created a piece that he calls the “21st Century Self-Portrait.” In order to create this intriguing piece, he had a 3D scan taken of his face, and a CT scan of his skull, showing not only the shape of his head, but his brain inside of his skull as well. He then used this to fabricate what could easily be the most unique self-portrait ever created, one that represents the times that we are in, and the technology that we have by our sides.

The self-portrait, as you can, see features Harker’s face, brains, and everything between, all 3D printed and covered with an artfully designed mask.

21st Century Portrait (right), Your own custom mask (left)

21st Century Portrait (right), Your own custom mask (left)

If this wasn’t enough for you, then perhaps your very own mask in the same form as Harker’s would be. Thanks to the cooperation between Harker, i.materialize, and uformit, you too can have a custom mask made of your face, which utilizes the same filigree patterns that Harker used on his.

21st4The masks measure 38mm (height) x 33mm (width) x 23mm (depth), and can be used as either a large pendant or desktop showpiece. Not only can you customize it with your own face, but you can also customize other aspects of it as well. Via the uformit interface, you can modify the channel depth and thickness of the intricate details of the mask. Also available are different materials, including gold-plated brass, silver, titanium, and even solid 14k gold. Prices start at $225.21 and go all the way up to $3,565.

While you don’t get the same details of the face and brain that Harker’s original piece may have, it is still an interesting idea for those “selfie” lovers, or simply someone who would like to gift their face to a significant other.

Let us know what you think. Would you consider purchasing this pendant with your very own face on it? What do you think about Harker’s original artwork? Discuss in the 21st Century Self-portrait forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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