Artist of the Week: Anamorphic Sculptures by Jonty Hurwitz

“I think what I feel fortunate about is that I am still astonished – that things still amaze me. And I think that that’s a great benefit of being in the arts, where the possibility for learning never disappears; where you basically have to admit you never learn it.”

– Milton Glaser

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Anamorphosis – “is a distorted projection or perspective requiring the viewer to use special devices or occupy a specific vantage point to reconstitute the image.” it has its origins in the Greek language, mainly the prefix ana means back and again, and the work morph expresses the form or the shape of the object, person, or whatever it is talking about. There are two types of anamorphosis – perspective, as in oblique, and mirror, as in catoptric. Jonty Hurwitz seems to adopt both styles of anamorphosis into his art.

And by the way, his art is just gorgeous. Jonty Hurwitz, currently living in London, The United Kingdom, is a marvelous artist that only amazes the world with his beautiful mind and creativity – “Jonty Hurwitz is an unconventional artist: he took an engineering degree in Johannesburg, South Africa where he discovered the very fine line between art and science. Each one of his pieces is a study on the physics of how we perceive space and is the stroke of over 1 billion calculations and algorithms. Jonty takes an abstract object and projects an image which we can recognize as reality, knowing that that reality doesn’t really exist. His art challenges our perception of reality.”

Lets just stop chit-chatting and just start gawking at these beautiful art works. If you’re interested in seeing more from Jonty, take a look at his website, his other ninja website, and of course his Facebook Page.

1. The Kiss of Chytrid

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“Chytrid is now reported on all continents where frogs live – in 43 countries. It survives at elevations from sea level to 20,000 feet. Locally it may be spread by anything from a frog’s leg to a bird’s feather and it has afflicted over 200 species. Gone from the wild are the Costa Rican golden toad, the Panamanian golden frog, the Wyoming toad, the Australian gastric-brooding frog. In a 2007 paper, Australian researcher Lee Berger and colleagues put it this way – The impact of Chytrid on frogs is the most spectacular loss of vertebrate biodiversity due to disease in recorded history.”

All in all, the use of anamorphosis catoptric is purely spectacular. My mind can’t even wrap around the idea of creating this with the meaning of seeing it differently with a cylinder.

2. Rejuvenation

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“Without fail science, magic, and religion have pandered to the cult of youthfulness. More than merely camouflaging a pandemic fear of death, the desire for rejuvenation is a rejection of the infirmities and diseases of old age. It is a desire to regain the beauty and vitality of youth.” Rejuvenation of the mind? of the soul? of the body? Or simply put – the rejuvenation of human beings. Beautiful art, once again. Kudos to you Jonty Hurwitz.

3. Maternal Hands

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As Albert Einstein put it – “Necessity is the mother of invention”.

These maternal hands seem so diabolical at a first glimpse, but when you look closely to the cylinder they seem normal, human. Is it because we are all born evil, with a thirst for creating chaos, for indulging in sin, and despair, or is it because we are confused human beings that seek the meaning of life, only to know it when our child is born? Realizing that caring for another human being, a little one to be more exact, can alleviate the pain and suffering of loneliness that dawns upon us.

4. Yoda and the Anamorph

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“Satori is a Japanese Buddhist term for “Enlightenment”. Buddhist teachings explain that our perceptions of reality are built on the foundation of ego. In essence, the greatest obstacle to enlightenment is the self. The self is a worldly illusion created by desires and needs. The self, is a construction built on social conventions and personal history. Satori is consciousness free of ego and it depends on complete identification with the not-self. Yoda and the Anamorph uses the precise language of mathematics to encapsulate the deeply complex and temporal not-self. Yoda and the Anamorph is also a religious Jedi piece. It took over 1 billion calculations to produce this sculpture and in hindsight it would probably have been easier to go straight for Buddhist enlightenment.”

Yes, it is a reference to Yoda from star wars, but its meaning is more deep than that. It seeks to enlighten every man, woman and child, it seeks to awaken everyone, to realize its own humanity and to stop being so jaded.

 5. The Hurwitz Singularity

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“The technological singularity –  is a future time speculated in science fiction. At the singularity moment, a human made machine will design a machine more advanced than itself. This moment will mark the end of mankind’s dominance. The singularity is the moment that machines become more intelligent than us. Some analysts expect the singularity to occur some time in the 21st century, although their estimates vary. Many say that software will never be capable of human emotional intelligence. This may well be the case but humanity offers only one kind of intelligence. A tangible example is Google’s predictive search. Have you noticed in the last few years that its become quite good at knowing you? Granted, its a database kind of knowing. Does it know you better than your partner does? Is Google better than your parents at predicting your next question? When it comes to artificial intelligence and statistical probability what is the boundary point beyond which we become subservient to machines?”

Jonty Hurwitz couldn’t be more right – what is the boundary point beyond which we become subservient to machines? We will succumb to their exponential growth in intellect, and how they will be able to mimic human nature? We will fall in love with artificial androids that know exactly who we are, what we crave, what we desire in life?

Will we live more fulfilling lives, be more happy with fake human beings? Or will we shatter into disbelief that our humanity is lost? Only time will tell if we, as a species, will stand the test of time, or we will perish in the abyss of space only to leave our artificial embodiment of humanity to seek the glories that we never could achieve.

Jonty Hurwitz is an amazing artist, and we hope that you enjoyed this short ride, and taking a short peak inside his mind. If you have anything to add, please feel free to post in the comments section below. We would love to hear from you!

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