The Portraitsphere: Unchained


Remember the Portraitsphere, where all manner of media is used to capture a canine likeness? A while back I came across these incredible life-size sculptures of dogs made from used bicycle parts. The artist is Israel-based Nirit Levav and I think her series Unchained is amazing. It’s another example of art that uses found materials, similar to the work by Sculptor Jonathan Bowling where the final piece transcends the materials.


She really captures the essence of a dog in her work. I think it takes some extraordinary vision to create something so refined from a bunch of old bicycle chains and other junky parts. Here is what Nirit has to say about her work:

“Chains are rather versatile; it is a material which can be very soft and flexible or very stiff, long or short. As for the dogs–there are so many species and breeds, and each one of them looks so different and allows numerous possibilities for creation. There is a wide range of shapes, heights and textures that characterize dogs, unlike other animals. Take the elephant for example–they all look sort of the same. Furthermore, it is definitely my favorite animal. Dogs speak with human beings without actual words.”

I think she’s right about the versatility of the bicycle chains, but still…who could imagine they’d convey a sense of fluffiness in the end? Or sleekness? Or dogginess? But in her hands they certainly do…




If you would like to see more examples of her work or commission your own glorious bicycle-ish sculpture, you can visit her website here.

All photos from

Erica Preo is CEO & Creative Director of Pantofola, pure luxury Italian goods for dogs.