Having turned his hand to craftsmanship, these days youre more likely to find ex-businessman Marcus Levine nailing it in the art world rather than the boardroom. This Yorkshire-born sculptor, and unwitting specialist in the human body, is due to introduce an entirely unique approach to sculpture at a new exhibition on Londons famous Cork Street. At times using over 50,000 nails, this highly skilled and multifaceted artist has been banging his ideas onto large white wooden panels. By hammering the nails in at varying heights and distances, Levine is able to create a number of distinct tones, and to manipulate the intensity of his contours.
The majority of Levines nail sculptures are extraordinary representations of the human form. Aware of his unusual choice in material to express the human body, Levine explains that after some time using nails to create other, more abstract sculptures, it struck him that the interplay between the rigid, angular nails and the soft curves of the human torso, would be fantastically striking. Levines ability to immaculately capture the curviness of the human body with such sharp and inflexible objects is remarkable. He manages to create figures which are beautifully muscular yet wonderfully delicate, and it is clear that the artist has an innate grasp of human shape.
Light also plays an integral role in Levines work, as from morning sun to evening sun the shadows across the sculptures change and affect the contrast, and by altering artificial lighting, the sculptures can appear as light as a pencil sketch or as dark as a charcoal life drawing.
Marcus Levine studied at Jacob Kramer Art College alongside Damien Hirst. Previous alumni include David Hockney, and both Hirst and Hockney have been an inspiration to Levine. Since completing his first nail sculpture in the autumn of 2005, Levine believes he has perfected his technique, pushing the boundaries with each new work, and creating increasingly dynamic interpretations of an object which is notoriously difficult to depict.
This forthcoming exhibition will feature both sculptures of female and male models, and also includes a sculptured portrait of two childrens faces, and one of Levines non-representational pieces.
The exhibition is on view from March 22 through 27 at Gallery 27