According to artist Herb Williams, “Crayons are a gateway drug”… and perhaps that’s why he’s one of the only independent buyers in the world who maintains an account with Crayola. He melds the colorful wax sticks into fantastically large sculptures, buying each of the plethora of colors in packs of 3000. After cutting each stick down to size, he wraps them around pre-built forms and sometimes melts them down to form one solid mass. His sculptures occasionally use hundreds of thousands of pieces to complete. They are at once unusually bizarre and familiarly nostalgic. Just get a whiff of that Crayola smell!
Herb’s most recent project, Call of the Wild, sees crayons transformed into idillic, if vibrant, nature scenes – from a deer drinking from a quiet pool, to crows perched in a life size tree.
“I am interested in identifying iconic objects that society perceives to fit one role and then reintroducing them in different subtexts. Intriguing questions arise when an object associated with childhood, such as a crayon, is used to address issues dealing with more adult matters, such as sexuality, religion, and social hierarchy. The sculptures are childlike in their curious approach to the object as icon, but beguiling and satisfying to me in the use of pure color as form. Larger room installations also add the element of playing to the olfactory sense, as the scent of the wax completely saturates the environment.”
Born in Montgomery Alabama, Herb’s work has set records with Ripley’s and Guinness. He has been featured everywhere from museums, to children’s hospitals and the White House. You can find more of his work here.
See a behind the scenes look at Call of the Wild: