Artist, graphic designer, and self-proclaimed daydreamer Bruce Mackley is the creative mind behind a duo of incredible 3D portraits, respectively titled Descent and Turning Away. The artist used thousands of tinted decking and framing screws for each piece, drilling them in at varying depths for texture. This proves especially appealing for blind art-goers who are encouraged to touch his works and thereby create a mental image of each piece.
For Descent, which he refers to as “a study of balance, chaos and harmony,” he spent hundreds of hours fine-tuning over 20,000 painted screws to achieve a mesmerizing three-dimensional effect. Weighing in at over 350 lbs. and standing at 7 feet tall, the vibrant, industrial mosaic lies somewhere between painting and sculpture. And despite its limitations, Mackley claims his unusual medium of choice allows his work to excel through the subtle use of tone and color. “This medium can be tedious and challenging,” he says, “but it offers a fantastic level of undoing and redoing.”
Mackley discovered his affinity for working with screws through the creation of his first piece, Turning Away. He used over 9,000 screws for this piece. Surprisingly, the artist admits, “I have no formal training in fine art, though most of my misspent youth was defined by a fascination with Frazetta, Giger, Parrish, Dali, and countless other mystically deranged illustrators of the time. This steady diet of the unreal fueled a chronic habit of daydreaming that persists to this day!”