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Portrait Made with 13,000 Nails & Thread by Zenyk Palagniuk

September 8, 2018
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Portrait Made with 13,000 Nails & Thread by Zenyk Palagniuk

When we think of street art or portraits, we usually think of one medium: paint. Sure, there are hundreds of materials you can use to create art anywhere, from rocks to spray paint to almost anything else. But one type of material we often don’t think of when it comes to portraiture is nails and thread. Yet one Dallas-based artist has done just that.

In his studio, Ukrainian artist Zenyk Palagniuk started hammering nails into a large piece of wood, intent on creating a portrait of American singer and actor Justin Timberlake. Wanting to get as accurate a look as possible, Palagniuk then set about winding string between every nail, “drawing,” as it were, Timberlake’s face across the board.

The entire process took Palagniuk over 200 hours of work and labour. Starting with a rough sketch, he then used over 24km of string across 13,000 nails to create the work. The end result is a pencil-sketch type portrait of Timberlake that has a unique depth and feel thanks to the unique materials.

The technique is very similar to another artist, Kumi Yamashita, but with one important difference: Yamashita only uses one width of string to create her pieces, where as Palagniuk uses different widths and will wrap around the same nail multiple times. Comparatively, Palagniuk’s work is sparser than Yamashita’s, probably because the string can stretch over more space.

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