Artist Finds New Ways to Create Art Despite Irreversible Nerve Damage

Artist Phil Hansen uses a labor-intensive approach to create his large-scale murals. Instead of simply drawing a figure or going the pointillism route, Hansen produces many of his pieces entirely out of handwritten text from submitted stories of challenges and struggles to words of encouragement and hope. Ultimately, each portrait, landscape, and scene is reflected in Hansen's process.

Whether it's a text-based mural made with a permanent marker or a giant painting of Bruce Lee formed with carefully applied karate chops, the artist has found interesting methods to share his artistic work. Hansen's imaginative technique is the result of a hurdle he had to overcome as a budding artist.

He explains, “My present approach evolved out of what seemed at the time to be an artistic cul-de-sac: damage to the nerves in my forearm from the single-minded pursuit of pointillism. Driven to think of other ways to create art, I began pushing myself to experiment with new media: my torso, a tricycle, X-rays, dandelions, the Bible, viewers' experiences, and so on. The selection of the medium became integral to the art, as much a part of the story and the holistic experience as the selected fragments themselves.”

Phil Hansen website
via [Beautiful Decay, Chronicle of Philanthropy]

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