No strings attached

While doing research on various artists and their mark making techniques I immediately remembered seeing an artist creating a portrait with nails and a thread. I have a great appreciation for artists whose work is very accurate, painstaking and time-consuming.

Ukrainian artist Zenyk Palagniuk created an incredibly realistic portrait of Justin Timberlake. He began with sketching the portrait on a large piece of plywood. He then hammered around 13,000 nails and wrapped 24 km of thread. It has taken Palagniuk over 200 hours to complete the masterpiece.

Here is the final outcome.


You can see from close how small the nails are. There is so much that can go wrong in the progress-thread breaking at the wrong time or getting tangled up etc. Personally I feel like I rush through my art because I was always worried that I won’t get much time to finish it. In order to complete work like this it requires a lot of commitment.



You can see Palagniuk standing next to the portrait, it can give you an idea on how huge it is.

In order to truly understand the complexity of his work you can watch the video of him in action.

The style is similar to the one adopted by Japanese artist Kumi Yamashita. The major difference is that she used a single, unbroken threat to create her portraits. This fact  makes it even more amazing and it required more skills to assure that the thread doesn’t break.

Here is an example of one of the portraits from the series  “Constellation” where she presents portraits of women and man.


There is so much more great work from Kumi Yamashita that only inspires me to explore more unusual, not typical ways of creating portraits.

Warp & Weft- Mana

She had pulled out bits and pieces of the lighter colour thread to create the images. It really amazes me how she comes up with the ideas that never even cross my mind. Her way of thinking is on another level.

It’s important to explore work of other artists for inspirations and to get more knowledge of the possibilities we have with mark making.

You can explore more of her amazing work and very rich portfolio on:


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