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The Smallest Human Sculpture Ever Made

We've found some rather incredible artwork that you're never going to see. We're not hiding it or anything, it's just physically impossible for you to look at it - unless you've got an electron microscope to hand.

These tiny (and boy do we mean tiny) human figures are the work of high-concept artist Jonty Hurwitz - a man whose previous work includes mind-bending mirror illusions and broken faces that can only be seen in just the right place. For his latest piece, Hurwitz sought to explore the nature of scale by creating the smallest human sculptures ever assembled - tiny enough to sit inside the eye of a needle or the forehead of an ant. 

To create this miniature statue, Hurwitz hired an advanced photography lab in Sussex, surrounding a model with over 20 high definition cameras to capture her pose in exacting detail. Having created this '3D scan', or as Hurwitz puts it, compiled his "digital clay", he teamed up with researchers at the Institute of Microsctructure Technology at Germany's Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. There, the sculpture was built with a process called multiphoton lithography - a fiddly business that involves compiling nano-scale structures using light. 

Given that the sculpture is too small to be seen with the naked eye, it presents viewers with a challenge. Even Hurwitz was sceptical when the work was delivered: fearing he'd been conned by the researchers, he had to buy his own high powered microscopes to see if they had actually sent him anything. "Can you be sure of its existence if your basic senses are telling you that nothing is there?", says Hurwitz. "The line between myth and science is fine. To celebrate this, I have based these sculptures on the beautiful myth of Cupid and Psyche."

Measuring 80 x 100 x 20 microns, you can see the sculpture 'Trust' and it's larger partner (100 x 90 x 100 microns), 'Cupid and Psyche', in the images below.

(Images: Jonty Hurwitz)

[Via: CNet.com]