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12.14.2016

Andrés Sanjuan by Stéphane Simon

Based in Annecy in the French Alps, Initial (Prodways Group), a company dedicated to luxury, design, art and architecture through exclusive, unique and tailored 3D printing designs, recently signed an industrial partnership with visual artist Stéphane Simon as part of the launch of his "In memory of me -towards a new gesture catalog" project.
Stéphane Simon has worked as a visual artist for over twenty years, focusing mainly on the representation of the human figure. The idea for his sculpture project was born in Barcelona in 2013, where the artist goes regularly to develop new research avenues. At the time, the 3D printing techniques available on the market were not advanced enough to obtain a perfectly reproduced gesture. In addition to targeting cutting-edge technology, he has initiated numerous exchanges with anthropologists, sociologists, art historians, photographers, communications and language science experts, physicians and digital technology specialists in order to explore and ponder the multiple dimensions of the work. These are the true reflections of our current society, to which the artist is particularly attuned. Two years later, 3D printing techniques have been perfected, and the meeting between the artist and the industrial group, Prodways, with its subsidiary, Initial, has enabled the project's feasibility to be reconsidered. Thanks to the technologies available in Initial’s workshops, it is now possible to reproduce the complexity of gestures in movement in absolute perfection.
The model is Andrés Sanjuan Villanueva. Scouted by Sight Management in Barcelona for his exceptional physique, he began a career as a professional model at the age of 16. A student in visual arts, he has begun to study architecture with the strong ambition to create new sustainable and environmentally-friendly housing. At the same time, he works his body like a piece of art and with a determination and regularity that make him highly coveted by the most prominent global brands and see him walk runways worldwide. His latest photoshoot by Steven Klein appeared in Vogue Italia in August 2016, showcasing an almost perfect figure scantily clad. A photographer himself, with an extremely developed eye and a natural feeling for art, Andrés Sanjuan is passionate about contemporary art. Coming from a generation born in the digital era, he takes selfies and felt closely connected to Stéphane Simon's project, with which he immediately identified.
We have entered the digital era. No one can deny that we are experiencing a major revolution that affects the very nature of our human behavior a little more every day. In our current environment, which focuses on visual and virtual approaches, we are submerged by images and the recent phenomenon of the selfie. In a short span of time, self-portraits have become a genuine mass phenomenon and reveal a transformation in the very status of the subject. In reality, the widespread practice of the selfie reflects a major anthropological shift throughout the world. Mobile telephones have become a true extension of ourselves and this widespread practice of the selfie questions the place, use and strength of the image in our contemporary societies. Selfies have become an essential ritual, supporting the emergence of a whole new catalog of gestures in movement, incorporating expressions meaning and use at a level unparalleled in the history of humanity. A universal, non-verbal communication medium has been born. This form of communication, adopted by all worldwide like no other practice or mode of expression before it, has myriad and powerful social, societal, economic, political and medical repercussions. It also has the visual and artistic qualities that the full-body sculpture (human size 5'11"/180cm), chosen by Stéphane Simon as a medium of expression, is today able to relay by generating beauty, poetry, strangeness and a connection to spectators who can project and recognize themselves in the work, whatever their origins.

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