Half painting, half sculpture, a study of balance, chaos and harmony. This is Descent, artist Bruce Mackley’s stunning piece, an industrial mosaic of over 20,000 decking and framing screws set meticulously into painted pine board at varying depths.

“This medium can be tedious and challenging” says Mackley, “but it offers a fantastic level of undoing and redoing”. He says that he spent hundreds of hours painstakingly working on the piece, adjusting and readjusting screws to get the desired effect. Patience and focus are required for this kind of 3D art!

Weighing over 350lb and standing seven feet tall, the mosaic is a challenge to transport. Mackley was forced to fabricate a special custom trolley just to move her. This is the second such piece he has created, the first was entered in a Midwestern art fair last year, where he found it appealed to new and unexpected demographics. “My favorite part of the whole thing was some of the couples where the guy was just tagging along, probably wishing he were out golfing instead. They’d walk up, discover what it was made from… then, bang… they could identify with the art. It really affected some guys in the trades. Super cool.”

Descent will be exhibited at The B.O.B. (an acronym for Big Old Building) in downtown Grand Rapids this fall during ArtPrize 9, if you want to check it out yourself. Touching the piece is encouraged for the blind, as a way of creating a mental ‘picture’, using the tactile senses.

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More info: Bruce Mackley | ArtPrize