Aluminium sculptures created by Noah Deledda look like they are a work of precise automated machine. However, all of these are created by him using his thumbs to create dents and creases in the soft metal. If you look at the perfect geometric patterns of these cans, it will be hard to believe that a robot does not create them. The Tempa Bay-based artist had to make a video to provide a proof that it was him and his thumbs doing the magic and no robots were involved.
He starts the work by removing the printed layer of the can and then polishes the surface until it becomes nice and shiny. Then comes the hard part which is to create dents and creases into the soft metal. He has to make sure that all the dents come out flawless as a machine made them. This work requires a lot of patience, and Deledda confirmed that he developed his technique over several years. Noah Deledda wrote on his website, “Crushing, denting and creasing become a method to create design, precision, symmetry and balance. Mind you this process developed over the years through trial and error and lots of practice. It’s important to me that this is all carried out by hand without special tools or extraordinary manipulation. The shaping of the can is a thumb-driven process that cooperates with the form of the cylinder.”
He has taught himself to produce various geometric designs, and each one of them is impressive than the other. Noah said that the most common response to his art is people telling him that they have never seen anything like this before. He said that it is ironic since people have of course seen such things, they see crushed aluminum cans all the time the only difference is that it is not done this way. He saw his art as a proof that a generally destructive force like crushing can be creative and presented as art.
Noah Deledda created this art out of boredom while he was traveling back home from Orlando in the back seat of his car and had nothing to do. So he started playing with the empty can of Red Bull which he had just finished. He said, “I had nothing to do, I didn’t have an iPhone to mess around with, so I just started fiddling with this can that had been partially crushed. And I noticed that in a way the dents would allow certain shapes to form, they would allow themselves to be manipulated. At the time I just made a mental note to return to the idea at a later time.”
Later on, he applied some geometry, some artistic principles of repetition and the experiments ended up becoming a great piece of art. Nowadays he is an internationally celebrated artist, and his detailed sculptured cans are sold over $2000 per piece.