Studio Smack, best known for their music video Witch Doctor by De Staat, have released a new animation: a contemporary interpretation of one of the most famous paintings by the Early Dutch master Hieronymus Bosch, The Garden of Earthly Delights. ‘Paradise’ was commissioned by the MOTI Museum in The Netherlands for the exhibition New Delights, which is part of the Hieronymus Bosch 500-year anniversary. A gigantic video installation of this work is exhibited in the Museum until the 31st of December.
In their latest 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. 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.
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.