What started as a stress relieving hobby has turned into a full time career for artist Spenser Little, the self-taught sculptor who's been making elaborate wire sculptures for the last 11 years. Little’s works burgeon out of a single piece of wire that he relentlessly bends and twists to form a composite image. His portraits come in wide variety. Some are explicit, some are more expressive, and others are simply comical. Regardless of his tones, though, all of Little’s works incorporate the kind of detail that makes you question whether they were made by man or a machine.
Little tells The Creators Project he's always built things. His father was a builder, and at a young age, he started carving dolls and action heroes out of wood. Little would use wire to make glasses, hair, and joints for his dolls, but it wasn’t until he started making wire chairs for the dolls that he realized the medium's potential. “It was like jumping in a river. It took over my life… Ideas of things to make poured out,” he tells The Creators Project. Little started to sneak pliers and wire into his day job at a corporate biotech company. He would covertly bend wire half way under his desk as to not be seen by his superiors.
In a conversation with NPR, the self-taught wire bender claims he originally picked up the hobby as a source of stress relief, and started hanging his works on street signs and poles for people to discover. As the story goes, people began leaving Little notes asking to buy his work. In 2005, Little had his first art show, which he says was “mildly successful”—he quit his day job two weeks later and has been working on sculpture ever since. Little now works out of his warehouse in San Diego where takes commissions and sells his works online. “A lot of people always look at the more tedious ones and say you must have such patience," Little told NPR, "but my reply is it doesn't take patience to do the things you enjoy.”
Check out more wire works by Spenser Little on his Storenvy page.