12/18/2007

Da Vinci - hammered!


Albanian artist Saimir Strati takes hammer to Da Vinci Self Portrait....... and does a portrait with nails on a huge wood panel! Here is the artist on the right with a DaVinci portrait drawing in the background and it looks like he's building some furniture, but au contraire! He is actually recreating the self-portrait by DaVinci with nails driven into a huge, probably 10' foot by 20', wood panel. First the artist has sketched out the DaVinci Self Portrait and has proportionately enlarged the drawing to a quasi-massive scale of about 15' tall for maximum impact but also allowing him to use large nails that will make the portrait even more detailed looking. As you can see from the next photo on the left the nails are driven into the board at different depths, the higher the nail heads are above the surface of the board the more shadow they produce and therefore the more prominent features of the portrait are made more visible by the nail heads that are highest above the surface of the board. The nails are very close together and the nail heads overlap each other for maximum density and maximum detail. Another visual element that is very interesting is the metallic surface of the nail heads which adds an interesting quality to the picture and is perhaps metaphorically alluding to the military armaments and battle gear of DaVinci's time. The nail is a tool that has been around for a long time and is visually appropriate for the nature of the portrait. After all the nails, approximately 500,000, are finally nailed into place the finished masterpiece is finished. Awesome!

Albanian artist Saimir Strati has hammered tens of thousands of nails into a wooden board over the past 24 days to create a portrait of Leonardo da Vinci and the world's biggest nail mosaic. "I can officially confirm that we have a new record for the largest nail mosaic of eight square meters," Guinness World Records adjudicator Scott Christie said late on Monday. The mosaic stood in the main hall of Tirana's pyramid-shaped culture centre, exactly where a larger-than-life sculpture of the late Albanian dictator Enver Hoxha used to stand. Large-headed nails shone in the light falling on the sides of Da Vinci's flowing gray beard. Smaller black tapestry nails created shadow below his eyes and chin. Three rows of yellow nails framed the portrait. "I have lost count of the nails, but I think it was around 400 kilos (880 pounds) of nails. I have used different nails. The condition was they should be industrial nails and they are," Strati said. "I used a computer to map the spots where each nail is placed. My technique resembles (digital) camera pixels. I have used a nail for each pixel," he told Reuters. A video record of the feat showed him nailing away for up to 12 hours a day. "This is something quite unique and quite spectacular," Christie told Reuters, adding the mosaic is "a completely new category" for Guinness. "We did not know quite what to expect before we came, but we are amazed and truly astounded at the fantastic work he has done, days and nights and hour upon hour," he added. "Someone will have to try to beat that, but I do not think it will be beaten for some time."

2 comments:

astrogalaxy said...

This is something awesome and beautiful. Art always surprises us!

Linda Blondheim said...

Wow!!! Amazing. I like your blog, just found it.
Linda Blondheim
www.lindablondheimartnotes.blogspot.com