thread spool works by deborah sperber



new york city based Devorah Sperber’s starting working with spools of thread in 1999.  her thread pieces are all recreations of works by famous artists – monet, cezanne, picasso, da vinci, rembrandt, and van gogh to name a few… not only are the works re-made out of spools of thread, they are also presented upside-down.  her work challenges your brain to see the bigger picture and though her work does not move, it still is very interactive, causing the wheels of your brain to turn a little whether you know it’s happening or not. 



when looking at the piece up close, each spool is a different color, resembling pixels, and you can’t really make out any real shapes or forms.  however, when you take a step back and look at the entire piece, your brain puts the pieces together and you begin to recognize what you’re looking at.

the idea is to force the viewer to not look at each individual tiny spool – but to look at the piece in it’s entirely, as a whole.  this piece, titled ‘After The Mona Lisa’ is made of  1482 larger spools of thread so the image resolution is very low.  the viewing sphere stands in front of the piece so the thread spools are compressed to make an easily recognizable image.


 she recently finished ‘American Gothic’  – a painting we are all very familiar with.  it took a grand total of 4,392 thread spools to complete the work.

i like the ideas behind devorah’s work  and i like that it challenges a part of your brain you may not even have control over.  she takes the very basic act of seeing and ‘using your eyes’ to a new level, all while trying to get a better grasp on how our brains process imagery in relationship to color and scale. 


 All photos belong to Devorah Sperber


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