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Nano Sculptor Frederik de Wilde Creates “Blacker than Black” Art

Frederik de Wilde is a Nano artist based in Brussels and the creator of a new color called “blacker than black.” Nano art is defined as an art form merging practices of science, technology, and art, where the artist manipulates molecular matter to form a “sculpture”. Their art cannot be seen by the naked eye. Existing at an atomic scale, their art can only be seen through an atomic-force microscope, which is then captured using photons, and processed for public viewing as prints and 3D models. De Wilde likens it to the designs in a snowflake, also only visible under an electro-magnetic microscope. Understanding De Wilde’s process makes his images, such as his series of skulls gushing with wave-like particles, especially surreal.

Frederik de Wilde is a Nano artist based in Brussels and the creator of a new color called “blacker than black.” Nano art is defined as an art form merging practices of science, technology, and art, where the artist manipulates molecular matter to form a “sculpture”. Their art cannot be seen by the naked eye. Existing at an atomic scale, their art can only be seen through an atomic-force microscope, which is then captured using photons, and processed for public viewing as prints and 3D models. De Wilde likens it to the designs in a snowflake, also only visible under an electro-magnetic microscope. Understanding De Wilde’s process makes his images, such as his series of skulls gushing with wave-like particles, especially surreal. These “waves” symbolize the growing of the art itself under a microscope, inspired by the darker aspects of Nature. His color palette is the darkest black. Also known as “Superblack,” De Wilde’s color, which is 10 times stronger than black, was born from carbon nanotubes in collaboration with fellow scientists. The result is so dark that the eye has trouble figuring out what it is looking at, giving the illusion of a black hole. This is where De Wilde’s creation truly merges art and science, because there are scientific applications beyond being something cool to “look” at. It also begs the question, if you can only see it under a microscope, is it art? The artist continues to look for ways to to connect these blind spots between Nanotechnology and art.

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