Gallery: Shawn Smith’s 8-Bit Sculptures of Nature


The wood sculptures in Austin-based artist Shawn Smith’s series of “Re-things” — which we spotted on Booooooom! — look like they hopped out of the background of one of the video games that we grew up playing as kids; he starts by images of his subjects online, and then rebuilds them into 3D objects, pixel by pixel, using hand dyed strips of wood. “My work investigates the slippery intersection between the digital world and reality,” Smith explains. “Specifically, I am interested in how we experience nature through technology. When we see images of nature on TV or on a computer screen, we feel that we are seeing nature but we are really only seeing patterns of pixelated light.” Click through for a selection of his work.

Shawn Smith, Peafile, 2006. Plywood, ink, acrylic paint. 47 x 74 x 25 inches

Shawn Smith, Skulk, 2010. Balsa wood, ink, and acrylic paint. 19 x 37 x 13 inches

Shawn Smith, Double Dahl, 2007. Plywood, ink, acrylic paint. 22 x 53 x 16 inches

Shawn Smith, RGB Ibex, 2009. Balsa wood, ink, acrylic paint. 41 x 28 x 16.5 inches

Shawn Smith, Arctic Game, 2006. MDF, paint. 108 x 108 x 12 inches

Shawn Smith, 8bit Campfire, 2005. 1cm plastic cubes and spray paint. 36 x 34 x 12 inches

Shawn Smith, Vicious Venue, 2009. Mixed media. Dimensions variable

Shawn Smith, Black Capped Chickadees, 2008. Bass, balsa, ink, and acrylic paint. 10 x 18 x 18 inches

Shawn Smith, Everett, 2008. Bass wood, ink, acrylic paint, gauche, found branch. 18 x 24 x 11 inches

Shawn Smith, Vulture, 2007. Plywood, ink, and acrylic paint . 44 x 33 x 27 inches