Nails as material for paintings

Nails as material for paintings

26 June 2019, 12:26
A source: ©
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Photo ©

“Nails are objects that hold together different entities,” said the hero of the novel, and John Bisbee echoed him: “Nails are the most ancient connective material.” With a confident hand, the artist weaves them, forges, welds, and thousands of them into patterns, similar to light, moving and living matter, fixed in a three-dimensional freeze-frame.

Once upon a time, while still studying at an art college, John Bisbee looked into an old abandoned house to pick up objects for his future installation - and overturned a bucket of old rusty nails.

Over the years, they crumpled into a solid metal object of an unusual and complex shape. Since then, the artist has almost abandoned the usual tools: armed with pliers and hammers, a welding machine and a blacksmith forge, he makes complex sculptures and installations of nails, thousands of the same and different, rusty, blackened and still quite brilliant. There is only one paint in his palette, but the master finds infinite potential in it.

His craft gives space for creativity, and creativity stimulates and motivates the occupation of heavy craft. Steel works resemble dynamic figures, and sometimes even living beings. Banal nails turn into an endless, complex palette.
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