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Colombian artist sculpts monument long-distance, then 3D prints it

ART 3D | 11 de noviembre de 2019

Bogota, Nov 10 (efe-epa).- Colombian artist Joaquin Restrepo is the sculptor of a monumental statue that was sculpted long-distance and then 3D printed.

The work is of former President Belisario Betancur, who governed Colombia from 1982-1986, and was unveiled in the northeastern municipality of Barichara, where the former leader lived for a number of years after his mandate.

The sculpture was 3D-printed in bronze before being installed on the main square of the town Betancur called "the prettiest little town in Colombia."

"I began working on this sculpture in a bookstore in the Forest of Chapultepec in Mexico City while I was preparing a series of expositions which I would do at mid-year," said Restrepo.

"While I was creating in Mexico the work that materialized in Colombia, it was my hands that sculpted despite the distance," he added.

Betancur, who died last Dec. 7 at age 95, in 2007 founded with his wife Dalita Navarro the Arts and Crafts workshop with the aim of keeping alive handicrafts such as ceramics, embroidery, woven fabrics and local gastronomy.

"This is not my typical sculpture, because since it's a government commission there's a measure of very high-level control, but I think that it's an experience that all of us artists should have. Additionally, it seems to me to be very important to use all the tools that technology is giving us," Restrepo added.

The artist's representative in the United States, Mateo Blanco, said that Betancur knew Restrepo, whose work he valued, "and he devoted some beautiful words to him" in a letter in which he said that "he was born anointed by the gods, in his hands stone and metal soften and canvas joyfully invites his brush."

In recent months, Restrepo decided to break the boundaries of art with a simultaneous exposition of his works in the US, Colombia and Mexico, countries in which he has established his studios.

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