The city in scrapwood

(About art rather than language.)

Caught recently in the New Yorker, this re-envisioned city:


The fine print, going up the right side:

Condé Nast 2013. Sculpture by James McNabb. Created exclusively for the New Yorker Festival. Photographed by Grant Cornett.

Amazing stuff.

One of many appreciations, from Pinar on My Modern Met on 1/22/13:

Incredible Wood-Carved Cityscapes by James McNabb

The City Series is a collection of wooden sculptures by designer James McNabb that mimics the skyscrapers that make up the New York City skyline. The Philadelphia-based artist uses a band saw to skillfully “sketch” his model metropolises, carving into separate scraps of wood and assembling them together to represent an eclectic mix of buildings.

Initially, the intent behind the artist’s work was far more abstract. After he had created 250 pieces of uniquely carved geometric woodblocks within a 24-hour period, McNabb recognized a similarity between their united assortment and an urban skyline. Since this discovery, the designer has been continually creating a variety of “buildings” to align in new and innovative formations.

McNabb takes the silhouette of modern cityscapes to another level of attraction with his eye-catching compositions. Rather than simply constructing his tiny towers on a flat, gridded plane, the artist has found new and inventive ways to present his miniature cities, including a display within a giant wheel. McNabb is also known to create no two individual pieces that are alike, calling this creative choice “a reference to the idea that cities are the land of endless possibility.”

The city afloat:


and the city in an endless cycle:


From McNabb himself:

The City Series is a collection of wood sculptures that represent a woodworker’s journey from the suburbs to the city. Each piece depicts the outsider’s perspective of the urban landscape. Made entirely of scrap wood, this work is my interpretation of making something out of nothing. Each piece is cut intuitively on a band saw, resulting in a collection of architectural forms, each distinctly different from the next.

I really want to see them in three dimensions. And smell them.

One Response to “The city in scrapwood”

  1. Odds and ends 8/14/13 | Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] art-related things (Alan’s finishing an architecture degree). I showed him my stuff on the scrapwood sculptures of James McNabb, and he pointed me to Haida manga. A nice […]

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