Artist paints image of Charlie Chaplin with an industrial printer

Are CIJ printers only useful for commercial applications? Certainly not, as artist Francis Nathan Abiamba recently proved. The artist from Cameroon spontaneously used a print head from Paul Leibinger as a brush – and amazed visitors at the wire and Tube 2018 trade fair in Düsseldorf with a portrait of Charlie Chaplin

Abiamba, known in the art world as Afran, had a booth at the wire and Tube 2018 trade fair and it happened to be right next to the Leibinger booth. “We started talking and we suddenly had the crazy idea of using a print head as a brush,” recalls Christina Leibinger, managing proprietor of the Paul Leibinger GmbH & Co. KG from Tuttlingen. Usually, the JET3up printer’s cylindrical print head is mounted on a conveyor belt or behind an extruder and connected to the hydraulics in the printer housing via an umbilical. “Abiamba just picked up the print head, threw the umbilical line over his shoulder, and used the back of a fair poster as his canvas.”

“A day without laughter is a day wasted”

Abiamba had only briefly practiced with the print head. It was, after all, the most unusual brush the artist had ever worked with. Then the show began: the artist painted a portrait of the British comedian Charlie Chaplin. In no time at all, using the silver electric paintbrush, he captured the distinguishing features of the film icon on paper – including his bowler hat and famous two-finger mustache. “Everyone at the booth was impressed and the magical performance brought many a smile to the audience,” raved Leibinger. “The portrait in silver is absolutely stunning and will be given a place of honour at our company headquarters in Tuttlingen.” Chaplin himself would have enjoyed the performance. One of his most famous quotes is: A day without laughter is a day wasted.