British artist Lee Wagstaff had a “difficult” time relating to his father. His distant relationship with his dad has led him to the point where he plans to crush his father’s skull into a fine powder – and use it to replicate a model of his own skull with a 3D printer.

Lee Wagstaff 3d printed skull

Wagstaff, born in London in the late 1960’s, is an artist who, along with spending five years acquiring a full-body suit of tattoos which he says are based on “cross-cultural geometrical symbols” like circles, squares, swastikas and stars, plans to use what remains of his father to make a replica of his own skull from the ground up bits of his father’s brainpan.

After completing his studies at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, the Royal College of Art in London and Kyoto City University of Arts in Kyoto, Japan, Wagstaff has exhibited his body and large format, photo self-portraits at fine art and performance spaces around the world.

He calls his works “portraits that pursue an alliance between faith, space, geometry and anatomy.”  His current focus is on digital 3D data acquisition and reconstruction processes, and he says those technologies play a central role in his thinking.

wagstaff skull imageWagstaff says bodily materials are, for him, simply art materials like ink, paint, or plaster. He adds that in tribal art, materials like blood and bone are often used to create art.

“It’s only in a more sanitised, contemporary world that people tend to get sensational about anything a little bit icky,” Wagstaff told The Independent. “The project’s partly about working through this weird relationship. I was interested in the transference of things that my father was – and what he stood for. We grew up with dead things around us, so I have this interest in anatomy, going back to how things work.”

According to Wagstaff, his father, a hunter and gamekeeper at various points in his life, ultimately abandoned the artist and his family to live in the countryside and pursue his own interests. As a result, the artist says he and his family members grew up with dead things around them which led him to explore his fascination with anatomy and how living things are constructed and function.

“Once something is dead – once it’s stripped of all its life and muscles – it just kind of becomes an object, and you have to touch it and really believe that it is what it was,” Wagstaff told VICE UK. “I use my body as an arena for investigation, experimentation and exhibition. As a means of supplication and contemplation.Through repetitive technical processes and abductive reasoning I seek a deeper understanding of my faith and scripture by exploring an aesthetics of theology as part of my own Christian journey.”

Are you appalled or intrigued with artist Lee Wagstaff’s plan to powder his father’s skull and use it to 3D print a replica of his own skull? You can comment on the thread  ‘Artist Plans To Crush His Father’s Skull‘ on 3DPB.com.

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