When you think of nude sculptures, you probably would think of the big, marble kind you’d see in museums. You wouldn’t expect to need a microscope to see the sculptures in their natural state. But the work of Jonty Hurwitz requires exactly that. Hurwitz has created a series of unbelievably tiny nude sculptures, small enough to fit in the eye of the needle and way too little to see with the naked eye.
According to Gizmodo, the nude sculptures are smaller than a human hair but larger than human sperm. And despite their microscopic size, the sculptures have just as much detail as any nude statues you might see in an art or history museum. You can see the microscopic nude sculptures in the images below. The photos could be considered NSFW since they depict nude women, but are not so detailed that you’d think you’re looking at the real thing.
According to Beautiful Decay, the series of sculptures mark the smallest rendering of a nude human form at 20 x 80 x 100 microns. The size of the sculptures roughly equal the length human fingernails grow in five to six hours.
“The absolute fact is this: the human eye is unable to see these sculptures,” said Hurwitz. “In your hand all you see is a small mirror with … nothing on it. The only way to perceive these works is on the screen of powerful scanning electron microscope. Can you be sure of its existence if your basic senses are telling you that nothing is there?”
The sculptures are titled “Trust,” “Cupid and Psyche: The First Kiss,” and “Intensity.” The theme of the series is to examine the concepts of science versus legend and myth versus reality. The project took several months and Jonty Hurwitz had a team of more than 10 people working with him. His series was created in collaboration with the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and the Weitzmann Institute of Science.
You can see some behind the scenes photos of the nude sculptures being created in the photos below, which use live nude models and hundreds of tiny cameras to capture their forms.
Hurwitz accomplished this incredible feat of art and science by using special new 3D printing technology to generate the microscopic nudes on tiny surfaces. The artist then used the 3D printer in conjunction with a photon absorption technique called Multiphoton Lithography. Hurwitz shared the following message on his website about how he produced the microscopic nude sculptures.
“If you illuminate a light-sensitive polymer with Ultra Violet wavelengths, it solidifies wherever it was irradiated in a kind of crude lump. Some of you may have experienced a polymer like this first hand at the dentist when your filling is glued in with a UV light.”
You can also see Hurwitz explain the process of making the sculptures in the video below.
For more incredible sculptures, check out an artist’s rendering of fairies dancing with dandelions.
[Images courtesy of Jonty Hurwitz]