Jason Ebeyer creates glossy 3D portraits that are both hyperreal and deeply sensual
Working his way to the top of the 3D art game, the artist has applied his glossy style to the likeness of some of the world’s most renowned music icons, from Madonna to Doja Cat.
- Olivia Hingley
- 5 July 2022
Perhaps the defining feature of Jason Ebeyer’s work is the visual contradictions it manifests. Whilst his heavily muscled, ethereal characters often appear to be made of a tough shiny substance like glass or plastic, the main feeling his work evokes is one of tenderness. With light bouncing off their glossy exterior, bodies contorted in the most exceptional of positions, Jason uses their very inhuman physicality to portray a very human emotion: sensuality.
Jason sources inspiration for such sensual undertones in historically significant art movements, in particular that of the Baroque and the Romantic periods. The element that most attracts Jason to these specific movements is the art of their subtlety; “their works weren’t directly sexual or arousing,” he explains, “but there was that feeling of contact between the characters and a softness in their interactions.” This inspiration is instantly apparent in Jason’s piece Gave it All Away. Reminiscent of John William Waterhouse’s famously passionate Hylas and the Nymphs – the visual realisation of the Greek myth in which Hylas is seduced and then killed by water nymphs – Jason reimagines the scene with his signature characters, injecting a hyper-modern, alienesque element into the classic scene. Showing the figure just before he is pulled into the body of water, the image is pertinent in its suggestion of what is to come, rather than its portrayal of it.
Originally, Jason began his studies in graphic design and photography. But, throughout the course Jason found himself becoming “disillusioned” with graphic design for how “restrictive” it felt. This led Jason to experiment with other mediums to better express himself and his creativity, and he eventually found himself toying with 3D software. “I began teaching myself the programs by watching tutorials and reading forums,” he says, “before too long I was spending every moment I could trying to learn as much as I could.” Now back in his birth city of Melbourne, with a flourishing 3D career, Jason finds it most useful to immerse himself in other mediums to truly get his creative juices flowing, such as cinematography, fashion, music and photography.
Undoubtedly, Jason’s knowledge of his adjacent industries comes in handy when completing commissions, especially concerning his work with high-profile musical artists. Working alongside photographer Steven Klein, Jason depicted Doja Cat for V Magazine and more recently, Jason completed work for one of the classic queens of pop, Madonna. “The works we created went through a heap of variations and it was such an amazing experience to work directly with someone who is so creative and to see how her mind works,” Jason details. This element of connection is important to his subjects and is important for Jason; prior to recreating their image he will have a meeting or video call with them. “You see these people on TV and in magazines but having a conversation with them and asking questions can strangely help inform my choices when making a 3D representation in my style.” But, he is keen to stress, creating an exact likeness is not something that he strives for, or deems to be that important: “I wouldn’t say my stylisations are caricatures, but they certainly aren’t intended to be photorealistic,” he details, “it’s more about capturing the essence of the person and presenting them in a new way.”
Unlike many creatives who find themselves being drawn into digital spaces, looking forward Jason is excited about the prospect of leaving his screen and working with a more tactile medium. After releasing his first physical sculpture last year, he’s keen to see how he can next physically conjure up his characters in the glossy, glassy flesh.
Jason Ebeyer: Lean (Copyright © Jason Ebeyer, 2022)
About the Author
Olivia (she/her) joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in November 2021 and soon became staff writer. A graduate of the University of Edinburgh with a degree in English literature and history, she’s particularly interested in photography, publications and type design.