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Screw Tops
March 1, 2011 7:20 AM   Subscribe

Meet Andrew Myers, one of the most patient modern-day sculptors around. He starts with a base, plywood panel, and then places pages of a phone book on top. He then draws out a face and pre-drills 8,000 to 10,000 holes, by hand. As he drills in the screws, Myers doesn't rely on any computer software to guide him, he figures it out as he goes along. "For me, I consider this a traditional sculpture and all my screws are at different depths," he says. Other work by Andrew Myers.
posted by chavenet (44 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
Gives "screwing around" a whole new meaning.

I was thinking of doing this, but I would probably screw it up.
posted by tomswift at 7:27 AM on March 1, 2011


I like how he's just going at it with a regular cordless drill. It reminds me of chainsaw artists or something.

Also, please note that we've blown our quota for screw puns already.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:29 AM on March 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also, please note that we've blown our quota for screw puns already.

How screwpulous of you.
posted by ORthey at 7:31 AM on March 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


Also: great post. Love this stuff.
posted by ORthey at 7:31 AM on March 1, 2011


Also, please note that we've blown our quota for screw puns already.

How true, yet I augur that there may be more.
posted by cog_nate at 7:33 AM on March 1, 2011 [7 favorites]


he doesn't seem to care whether it's a + or an x. also, more of a feat if he had used -
posted by ennui.bz at 7:33 AM on March 1, 2011


Interesting. The visual effect reminds me somewhat of a Chuck Close painting (particularly those done post-"event").
posted by Chrischris at 7:35 AM on March 1, 2011


> he doesn't seem to care whether it's a + or an x. also, more of a feat if he had used -

How about 5 point Torx?
posted by Burhanistan at 7:39 AM on March 1, 2011


I'm more interested to see how he paints the screws! That sounds like the hard part.
posted by schmod at 7:42 AM on March 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


Awl right guys, cut it out with the puns.
posted by en forme de poire at 7:44 AM on March 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


(seriously though this is awesome, thanks for posting)
posted by en forme de poire at 7:45 AM on March 1, 2011


The visual effect reminds me somewhat of a Chuck Close painting

Yeah, first thing I thought as well, and not surprising given Close's interest in different ways of basically creating bitmaps with analog techniques and materials (and indeed image reproduction in general). The bas relief effect is interesting, I'd like to see how it looks in person. It would also be interesting to see this technique applied to actual full 3D sculpture.
posted by nanojath at 7:59 AM on March 1, 2011


What's the point of the phone books? there's a lot of focus on them, but I'm not really seeing what role they play in the piece. Just background color?
posted by fake at 8:27 AM on March 1, 2011


So these pieces aren't even on his web site? How weird is that?
posted by smackfu at 8:28 AM on March 1, 2011


Beautiful!

Reminds me of Pin Art (also featured in Midge Ure's "If I Was" Video from 1985)
posted by not_on_display at 8:42 AM on March 1, 2011


This is a find! Best of the web today! This is the kind of thing I joined MetaFilter for! Thanks really truly, not snarking at all and how sad I have to say that.
posted by infini at 8:48 AM on March 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Awl right guys, cut it out with the puns.

Indeed, let's not warp the thread.
posted by cortex at 8:49 AM on March 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


stalks cortex with peashooter
posted by infini at 8:52 AM on March 1, 2011


Or strip it of useful commentary.
posted by mikepop at 8:52 AM on March 1, 2011


Your option is Metatorque.
posted by cortex at 8:55 AM on March 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


and he doesn't seem to have stripped any of the heads (that I could see from the closeups..).. Though I think he's using drywall screws to go into plywood, which is, well, wrong ..

(And he hand drills all the pilot holes? Looking at the bottom pictures with what looks like a perfect grid, I'm not sure I believe that .. That looks like regular pegboard, not something done by hand .. )
posted by k5.user at 9:01 AM on March 1, 2011


cortex: Indeed, let's not warp the thread.

That would be quite a twist.
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:02 AM on March 1, 2011


[he] doesn't rely on any computer software to guide him, it should be said of them all. Well, perhaps we have evolved enough where computers should just take over completely.

The digital muse yields the poetry of pixelation. Artifacts within the image and sound are the symphony of digital creativity.
posted by kuatto at 9:06 AM on March 1, 2011


Excellent techincal excerise, glad he's enjoying working on it. Not sure its decent art at all.
posted by PinkMoose at 9:10 AM on March 1, 2011


That is really beautiful and creative.
posted by no1nose at 9:30 AM on March 1, 2011


I have to side with PinkMoose on this. They're neat, but they aren't art. When I got to the bottom and saw him with his cordless power drill looking all kinda scruffy and arty, I lamented my lack of chutzpah. I too should receive accolades for my oversized, uninspired, gimmicky work!

Saimir Strati's pretty awesome if you like your art made with fasteners.
posted by polyhedron at 9:44 AM on March 1, 2011


Ok, that sounds harsh. Who am I to be so critical? Good for him. I'd pay a fair amount of money for one of those. (They don't really speak to me as art though)
posted by polyhedron at 9:48 AM on March 1, 2011


Metafilter: not art.
posted by localroger at 10:00 AM on March 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Not sure its decent art at all

Too much screwing to be decent art.
posted by chavenet at 10:29 AM on March 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


polyhedron said: "They don't really speak to me as art though"

I'm inclined to agree. It comes across exactly like the title of the article:
Thousands of Screws Make a 3D Portrait.

I like the idea of using screws as a material, but I think in this case, it's hurt the artistic potential of the series.

I kinda want to see this as a painting(no screws), perhaps with the same background. It makes me wish for the stylistic drama of a Carvaggio but placed in the context of American Splendor.

That's probably what you'd find me working on right now if I could paint really well. I'd look so focused, even Angela Lansbury would be like:
"Woah, you look really focused."
posted by lemuring at 10:31 AM on March 1, 2011


That would be so cool if one of the models was named Phillip.

'Cuz then it would be a phillips head Phillip's Head.

screw it, I'm done

posted by mazola at 10:33 AM on March 1, 2011


"'Cuz then it would be a phillips head Phillip's Head."

I think if it were ten years ago, and by Philip's Head you meant his PENIS, you'd definitely have a sensation of contemporary art on your hands.
posted by lemuring at 10:40 AM on March 1, 2011


These are very,very,very cool. I would love to have one.

And, yeah, that looks like pegboard. Not plywood.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 10:44 AM on March 1, 2011


I'm trying to think of how you would do this with computer aid, and short of having a giant hopper fed CNC screw gun, you'd have so much trouble getting them to just the right depth that you'd be better off doing it by eye.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 10:49 AM on March 1, 2011


Why wouldn't they be art? They're portraits, right? Isn't portraiture art?
posted by infinitywaltz at 10:53 AM on March 1, 2011


Also, he's in Laguna Beach. Good for him. As an Orange County resident, I like anyone who shows that there's more to our county's art capital than beach landscapes to be hung on motel walls.
posted by infinitywaltz at 10:54 AM on March 1, 2011


Normal pegboard has holes on 1 inch centers. Those screw heads are maybe a quarter inch across (look at the size of the hex shank on the screw gun). So it isn't regular pegboard.

My guess is he's got two or three layers of relatively thick plywood there (some of those screws seem to go in pretty deep) and he's had a reference grid of pilot holes drilled in the top layer with something like a Shop Bot.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 10:57 AM on March 1, 2011


Kid Charlemagne: "I'm trying to think of how you would do this with computer aid,"

Maybe I'm exposing my geeky side rather than my artsy side, but I would actually be more impressed to see how you would do this with computer aid.

That said, I still think, as they stand, they are really awesome.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:05 AM on March 1, 2011


It's not exactly like the exact depth of the screws is that important either. He's just judging it based on the ones around it. And he can go back and fix ones that aren't right.
posted by smackfu at 12:05 PM on March 1, 2011


I like them a lot, but would actually like to see one unpainted, just the relief sculpture, as it were.
posted by maxwelton at 12:09 PM on March 1, 2011


They're neat, but they aren't art.

Art police in the hoooooouse!

I suspect whether something is 'art' has to do more with intention than anything else. If the creator intended to create art, then whatever they create is art. Doesn't mean that it's good art. But it's still art.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:56 PM on March 1, 2011


Drill, baby, drill!
posted by bwg at 5:14 PM on March 1, 2011


Neat idea, fantastic execution, not sure if they're art or not. I like them, though. In the same way that I like nude women painted on black velvet. In an art historic context I believe the first person to use screws to create portraiture was the obscure Dutch artist Johannes Veneer, but I may be wrong.
posted by motown missile at 10:27 PM on March 1, 2011


Yeah, a couple of them are maybe too straightforward as portraits. But this picture got my attention. He caught this guy in an interesting expression, and there's a light-and-shadow effect that further conceals it (is he smirking? frowning?), which is accentuated by the depth effect of the screws.
posted by en forme de poire at 8:42 AM on March 2, 2011


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