Tristan Eaton's 3D Artbook
By Rhoni Blankenhorn for COMPANY
(May 2, 2011) Last Friday I donned my 3D specs and headed to Opera Gallery for a signing of Tristan Eaton’s 3D Artbook. The book presents work by 100 of the world’s hottest young contemporary artists, designers, illustrators and street artists in an unexplored 3D forum. Most of these stylistically diverse pieces were created specifically for this project (4 years in the making) including paintings by Eric White, Ron English and James Jean, graffiti pieces by Dr. Revolt, Stash and Haze, entrancing designs by Tokidoki, 10Deep and Mishka NYC, cartoonish creations by Dalek, Jon Burgerman and Miss Van. Shepard Fairey even contributed some 3D cash money emblazoned with his signature OBEY.
The images take on a new life through 3D lenses, embodying the idea that the perception of an image depends on the lens (physical or intellectual) through which you view it. The 3D aspect clearly defines how the art is meant to be viewed, and transforms the act of looking into a physical activity. The glasses as an object are a signifier of the viewer’s intentions – in this example, the viewer puts on the glasses and commits to looking at art. The entire act of it rendered me hypersensitive about what I was doing and the act of looking took on a performative aspect. I felt that I was participating in a performance along with everyone present in the gallery.
Gazing about the room with my super trendy glasses I considered the different acts of looking happening at that moment: people looking at the art, people looking at the art through 3D glasses, and people looking around the room with 3D glasses. The glasses made it possible to see the full realization of the images, but distorted the real world. This alternative way of seeing calls for a re-evaluation of perception, particularly when it comes to what is seemingly rote or routine. It is a reminder to constantly question and re-define the lens through which you consider images.