Sculptor and automaton artist, Thomas Kuntz, has just finished a new piece called The Last Prussian Conjurer. Like many of his pieces, this one performs a magic trick. Keep your eye on the ball!
From the artist's description:
Inspired in part by WW1 anti-war and allied propaganda art. Additional inspiration came from the Diableries/Totentanz traditions with a healthy dose of Dada, Hans Richter and Monty Python!
Kuntz is both a masterful sculptor and accomplished machinist. This means that everything in the piece was made from scratch -- the figure, brass cams, levers and all. Even the spike on the Prussian's helmet was made from brass turned on an antique precision watchmaker's lathe. A part of the cam making process is shown in the video, as is his fantastic original clay sculpture.
Propaganda art can be so exaggerated and direct in its message. I can see why it might inspire an automaton. To see what I mean, check out these books and posters showing WWI propaganda art.
See more automata by Thomas Kuntz on his web site.