Paradise: An Animated Interpretation of The Garden of Earthly Delights

PARADISE is Studio Smack’s animated contemporary interpretation of the center panel of the most famous triptych by the Early Dutch master Hieronymus Bosch, The Garden of Earthly Delights.

Animated Interpretation of The Garden of Earthly Delights

Animated Interpretation of The Garden of Earthly Delights

Studio Smack was one of the artists commissioned for “de Nieuwe Lusten,” a project by Stedelijk Museum Breda (formerly the MOTI Museum), which invited four Dutch artists (Persijn Broersen & Margit Lukacs, Studio Smack, Eelco Brand and Floris van Kaaykto) to contemporize the famous religious painting. The piece was shown as part of the Hieronymus Bosch 500-year anniversary.

Hieronymus Bosch, Triptych, Garden of Earthly Delights
detail of Studio Smack’s Paradise

By using fifteen different, contemporary, animation techniques, an additional layer of meaning was added to the historical work. The end result not only increased the exposure of the original work, it positioned the medieval masterpiece in contemporary visual culture.

Paradise a shown at the Museum

In the work, the group cleared the original landscape of the middle panel of Bosch’s painting and reconstructed it into a hallucinatory 4K animation.

The creatures that populate this indoor playground embody the excesses and desires of 21st century Western civilization. Consumerism, selfishness, escapism, the lure of eroticism, vanity and decadence.

detail of Studio Smack’s Paradise

All characters are metaphors for our society where loners swarm their digital dream world. They are symbolic reflections of egos and an imagination of people as they see themselves – unlike Bosch’s version, where all individuals more or less look the same. From a horny Hello Kitty to a coke hunting penis snake. From an incarnate spybot to headless fried chickens.

detail of Studio Smack’s Paradise

These characters, once precisely painted dream figures, are now digitally created 3D models.

All of them have been given their own animation loop to wander through the landscape. By placing them altogether in this synthetic fresco, the picture is never the same. What the animation and Bosch’s triptych have in common is that you’ll hardly be able to take it all in, you can watch it for hours.

Studio Smack has just announced they will be soon doing the same for the “Hell” part of the triptych!

Stedelijk Museum Breda

info and images courtesy of Studio Smack, Directors Notes and Stedelijk Museum Breda