John Bisbee

For nearly thirty years, sculptor John Bisbee has worked with nails as his medium of choice. His work is most often based on a rudimentary component—a curved and flattened nail, for instance--whose inherent formal characteristics, like a strand of DNA, dictates the evolution of the work even as Bisbee pushes it to its utmost potential. While the explicitly floral subject matter in his most recent work seems to contradict this idea, his ambition is not primarily representational but the result of a decades-long exploration of the characteristics and potentials of his medium. By approaching his work through a natural process it was perhaps inevitable that he would arrive at a natural form as well, producing floral structures as elegant, intricate, and compellingly beautiful as those in the natural world, but evolved independently in pursuit of the formal possibilities inherent in a heated and hammered 12” spike.