American artist and sculptor John Bisbee, currently a professor at Brunswick-based Bowdoin College, is known for his brilliantly creative mind, his somewhat eccentric personality and most importantly, his fascinatingly outlandish artwork. Crafted entirely using nails of varying shapes and sizes, his creations include Briefcase(1988), Field(2000), Rove(2002), Stick(2002),and Plode(2002), to name a few.
It was during his college days as an art student at the Alfred University, some 30 years ago, that Bisbee first came upon the idea of using nails for artistic purposes. While looking for discarded items as part of a found-art project, he accidentally knocked over a bucket of old rusty nails. Much to his surprise, the scattered nails instantly coalesced into a bucket-shaped metallic structure. Since then, Bisbee has been crafting one masterpiece after another, using thousands of nails that are molded together through welding and hammering.
His art installations include stunning geometric sculptures, beautifully organic designs and also highly orthodox shapes and forms. Recently, his artwork was exhibited at the Shelburne Museum and, was also featured in the American Craft’s Material Crush issue. Additionally, he is a recipient of a number of the grants and awards, including Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant. Talking about the creations, Bisbee said:
Only nails, always different…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.