Posts tagged
with nails


Carved Wood Sculptures by Phil Young Appear to Stretch, Twist, and Tear Within Metal Armatures

December 11, 2018

Laura Staugaitis


Artist Phil Young twists the commonly-held perception of wood as a stiff material in his mind-bending sculptures made of polished wood and metal. Each artwork focuses on a single piece of wood that has been carefully carved to appear as if it is being stretched, twisted, bound, or squashed, often by visible forces like metal rings or nails. Young works carefully with each bit of raw material, paying attention to its natural shape and grain as he transforms it into a finished work.

Although his work is non-representational, he is able to evoke a surprising degree of emotion through the dynamic pressure the pieces appear to be subjected to. “I wouldn’t be satisfied if all I did was make beautiful pieces,” the artist explains. “I want the people who see them to question what beauty is, so I take inspiration from places you wouldn’t expect to find beauty, including surgery, diseases, wounded or wrinkled skin, and try to make that look beautiful. I think if you can find beauty even in these places, you can find happiness wherever you are.” You can see more of Young’s woodwork on his website and Instagram. (via Lustik)




“Crush” detail








Writhing Organic Sculptures Formed from Nails by John Bisbee

January 24, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Viper, Welded Spikes, “Out of the Garden.” Fuller Craft Museum, Brockton, MA, Dimensions Variable, 2016. Photo: Nick Benfey.

Over the past three decades, artist John Bisbee (previously) has dedicated his creative work to the medium of nails. Recent artwork includes several large installations that transform the stiff, architectural material into writhing organic shapes. “Out of the Garden” seems to reference the Biblical tale, with an enormous snake piercing the Fuller Craft Museum‘s wall with its fangs and a fruit-laden tree nearby. “Infinity Pool,” a circular wall installation, features larger spikes at the outer circumference that shrink to smaller nails toward the center, lending a dramatic sense of depth to the two dimensional work. Bisbee, who is based in Maine, has displayed his work across the northeastern US, and his upcoming 2018 show will be at the Center for Maine Contemporary Art in Rockland, Maine.

Viper, detail.

Viper, detail.

Infinity Pool, Forged, Welded, 8, 6, 4, 2 and 1-inch Spikes, “The Needle and The Milkmaid”, SAPAR Contemporary, New York, New York, 58” x 58” x 3”, 2016, Photo: Nick Benfey.

Infinity Pool, detail.

Infinity Pool, detail.

Infinity Pool, detail.

Pods, Welded Spikes and Weld, “The Needle and The Milkmaid”, SAPAR Contemporary, New York, New York, Dimensions Variable, 2016, Photo: Nick Benfey.

Murmur, Welded, Hammered, 8, 6, 4, and 2-inch Spikes, “The Needle and The Milkmaid”, SAPAR Contemporary, New York, New York, Dimensions Variable, 2016, Photo: Nick Benfey.

Murmur, detail.

Murmur, detail.

Brittlestars, Forged, Welded, 12­inch Bright Common Spikes, Harvard Business School, Boston, MA, 113”x 241”x 1”. 2016, Photo: Nick Benfey.




Mysterious Wooden Characters Adorned with Leaves and Nails by Jaime Molina

June 14, 2017

Christopher Jobson

Heads facing downward, eyes closed, the figures inhabiting the world of painter and sculptor Jaime Molina (previously) seem to be in a state of deep contemplation or sorrow. Or maybe they’re just hungover and taking a nap. The mystery is part of Molina’s intention as he assembles these strange characters from found wood to inhabit his fictional world called “Cutty Town” — he refers to the objects themselves as “Cuttys”. At once strangely familiar and approachable, the pieces sprout hairdos of bent nails, cacti, and leaves that add more questions left only to the viewer to answer.

The Colorado-based based artist most recently exhibited several works with Stefanie Chefas Projects in Portland and Galería UNION in Buenos Aires, and he has a few works available through Thinkspace Gallery. (via Juxtapoz, Creators Project)




Figurative Found Wood Sculptures Pierced with Hundreds of Nails by Jaime Molina

May 16, 2016

Kate Sierzputowski


Artist Jaime Molina works in 2, 2.5, and 3 dimensions, translating his aesthetic from large-scale paintings to sculptures, while also producing pieces that exist somewhere in-between. In this particular series, Molina has focused on bearded wooden heads, utilizing nails to form the hair of each of his subjects. Despite being placed haphazardly and with alternating sizes, the nails give the sculptures a uniform look, adding dimension to the male heads formed from found wood.

A few of the works open to showcase a center skull, intrinsic sculptures that are either left as raw wood or painted in a similar manner as his public murals. You can see more of the Denver-based artist’s sculptures and murals on his Instagram. (thnx, Laura!)











New Nail Sculptures by John Bisbee That Twist Across Floors and Walls

November 20, 2015

Kate Sierzputowski


John Bisbee (previously) has worked with nails as a sculptural medium since he accidentally toppled a bucket of them years ago and was astonished to see how they remained intact, rusted and fused into a single object. Every since, he’s been hammering nails of varying size into complex patterns, using the smallest woodworking nails up to giant 12-inch spikes. Although nails large and small continue to be the focus of his artistic practice, his sculptures remain diverse in their presentation and composition, twisted works making wildly chaotic patterns against walls and neatly arranged nails snaking along gallery floors.

Bisbee currently has two solo exhibitions on view including “Floresco” at the SCAD Museum of Art (through January 3, 2016) and “Only nails, always different” at the PCA&D Gallery (through the end of December). His work is also included in the 2015 Portland Museum of Art Biennial titled “You Can’t Get There From Here” through January 3, 2016.















Only Nails, Always Different: Artist John Bisbee’s Life of Sculpting with Nails

November 11, 2014

Christopher Jobson










While in college, artist John Bisbee was scavaging in an abandoned house looking for items to incorporate into a series of found-object sculptures when he kicked over a bucket of old rusty nails. To his astonishment, the nails had fused together into a bucket-shaped hunk of metal. He had an epiphany. Bisbee has since spent nearly 30 years using nails as his sole medium to create geometric sculptures, organic installations, and unwieldy objects from thousands of nails that are hammered, bent, welded, or fastened together in a seemingly limitless procession of forms. His mantra: “Only nails, always different.” He shares with American Craft, “A nail, like a line, can and will do almost anything. What can’t you draw with a line? The nail is just my line.”

Bisbee is currently an artist in residence at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, and had an exhibition at Shelburne Museum earlier this year. He was recently profiled in American Craft’s Material Crush issue featuring 30 artists working in unusual mediums, almost half of which have been featured right here on Colossal. Definitely worth a look. (via American Craft)




New Portraits by Kumi Yamashita Made with Nails, Thread, and Denim

April 13, 2013

Christopher Jobson







Two new portraits this morning from one of my favorite artists Kumi Yamashita (previously). The first one is part of her Constellation series titled Mana #2. The portrait is made from a single unbroken sewing thread wrapped through a dense network of galvanized nails, a process that takes several months. The second artwork, Mother #2, is part of her ongoing Warp and Weft series where Yamashita works with a panel of black denim and then meticulously cuts threads from the fabric to form an image. If you happen to be in California, both works will be in a group show from April 20th through June 1st, 2013 at Scott White Contemporary Art in La Jolla. You can also now follow the artist over on Facebook.