City Paper is not for tourists
The advent of 3-D printing has opened up a whole new aesthetic pathway between the dimensions, and Austin-based artist Shawn Smith is following it in his brainy Artisphere exhibit, “Pixels, Predators and Prey.” Smith’s M.O. is to construct sculptures of animals—tiger sharks, antelopes, cardinals—so they look pixelated in real life, not on a screen. “Growing up in large cities, Smith’s interactions with nature were limited to the pixelated representations he viewed on television and on his computer screen,” the exhibit’s explanation reads. In an eloquent hopscotch, Smith now takes digital images of wildlife from the Internet and turns them into three-dimensional sculptures. His “pixels,” unlike their evanescent digital cousins, are made from hand-cut and hand-dyed strips of wood—about as old-fashioned a technique as you can find in the computer age. The end result is a striking hybrid of animal beauty and mathematical rigor. The exhibition is on view Wednesdays through Fridays 4 p.m. to 11 p.m., Saturdays noon to 11 p.m., and Sundays noon to 5 p.m., to June 14, at Artisphere, 1101 Wilson Blvd., Arlington. Free. (703) 875-1100. artisphere.com.