Italian duo craft surreal canvas cityscape into a VR masterpiece

A giant cityscape canvas painting by Italian illustrator Fabio Giampietro - morphed into an enhanced 360 virtual reality (VR) experience by digital artist Alessio De Vecchi – won this year’s Lumen Prize Gold Award. 

The painting, Hyperplanes of Simultaneity, was inspired by the block universe theory – in which the past and present exist but the future does not exist. The artwork doesn’t necessarily have a central core, but presents a distribution of observing points linking to the spectator’s physical movements. 

The giant masterpiece was viewed through a Samsung Gear VR headset, transforming the painted cityscape into a 3D digital immersive experience, wowing the Lumen Jury Panel. 

Michael Fukushima, of the Panel, says Fabio’s piece is a step into new ways of experiencing the creative process.


“Hyperplanes of Simultaneity speaks deeply to my personal and professional aspirations in VR – imbuing art and artfulness into the 360 experience, rather than merely content, through a truly creator’s voice.” 

Fabio was presented with the US$3000 main prize in London on Thursday.

“As a painter I wanted to do something that mixed traditional artistic techniques with new technologies, so it’s great that mixed reality artwork is being recognised in this way,” he says.

Fabio is a painter and artist based in Milan. His unique technique requires him to subtract the colour from the canvas, often painting surreal worlds out of reach of humankind.


The Lumen Prize, now in its fifth year, celebrates digital art. UK artists featured heavily among this year’s other prizewinners – including collective Boredomresearch and their CG landscape AfterGlow, Matteo Zamagni took home the Mixed Reality award for his Nature Abstraction sensory experience and Seb Lee-Delisles’ outdoor installation Laser Light Synths won the Interactive award.

Alessio is the founder of adv – a New York based creative collective specialising in photography, video production and post-production, motion graphics and 3D animation. He’s also worked for more than ten years as an art director and CG artist in New York and Tokyo for clients such as Samsung, H&M and HBO.

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