Fabian Oefner is a Swiss visual artist known for using scientific properties in his masterpieces. He incorporates the “invisible effects of natural sciences and the properties of time” in his works in photography, film and art installations. It is a breath of fresh air from the usual science laboratory routine and experiments, and a fun way to express the beauty of the natural sciences. His works are a perfect harmony of art and science debunking all beliefs that these two fields of study are different from each other.
Three years ago, Oefner started working on one of his most magnificent masterpieces, the “Disintegration Series”. It is a collection of images of classic sports cars, each of which was created from thousands of shots to pull off one amazing masterpiece. The very first batch of his Disintegration Series is composed of a 1954 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe with gullwing doors, a black 1961 Jaguar E-Type, and a chic and sensual 1967 Ferrari 300 P4 -- all of which were meticulously dismantled to showcase an outburst of ingenuity and class.
If you’re a car lover, worry not because Oefner uses only the scale-model in creating these vibrant images of motion caught on camera. These masterpieces give the impression of explosion without having to sacrifice millions of dollars for its creation. The mere fact that Oefner was able to create these realistic images is both mindblowing and enchanting. Seeing how all the pieces have been meticulously positioned to create an illusion of a sudden outburst of car parts, from the biggest piece to the smallest screw, is a whole new experience especially for car enthusiasts.
How does Oefner build these one of a kind masterpieces? Well, like most artists, he’d actually start to sketch his thoughts on a piece of paper to decide where each piece should go. Just like a jigsaw puzzle, Oefner carefully positions the pieces on his sketches before he carefully unscrews the scale model piece by piece (down to the last and tiniest screw). There are more than a thousand components for each car, and so every piece is as important as the others. It takes Oefner more than a day on disassembling alone because as small as it may seem, the scale models are as complex as the life-sized versions.
After the dismantling process, Oefner then starts with the “piecing-back-together” process. He uses fine needles and pieces of string to hang each piece in position in accordance to his sketches. Once all the pieces are in place, he then takes shots of each piece by using the right angle and lighting. There are approximately over 2,000 images produced for one model, each of which is taken with utmost care to express dynamism on photograph. Oefner even admits that setting up the camera, lens and light is the hardest part of the whole “disintegrating” process.
All 2,000 images are combined to create a single image of dynamism and elegance. The wheels are used as a reference point, each piece masked using Photoshop and then cut and pasted to form one new image. It takes about two months to create a stunning image that looks as if it was captured frame by frame in a fraction of a second.
Ironic as it may seem, but Oefner’s Disintegrating Series pushes the boundaries of still life art by showing us that motion and dynamism can still exist in a single photograph. The Disintegrating Series is an enjoyable experience where science meets art. It’s like peeling an onion and discovering the different parts and the beauty of its individuality.
This year, Oefner is once again back with his Disintegrating Series II with all new models – a 1934 to 1940 Bugati 57 SC, a 1969 Ford GT40, a 1957 Maserati 250 F, and a 1936 to 1937 Auto Union Type C. These masterpieces are all on display at a mechanical art gallery called the MB&F M.A.D. Gallery Dubai. Each image is available in two sizes: eight 140x70cm prints and three 230x115cm prints. What are you waiting for? Experience this one of a kind art exhibit and see for yourself how motion is captured in one picture.