THE work of one of the district’s most unique artists is now on display in a new exhibition.

Marcus Levine hit the headlines earlier this summer when his giant artistic tribute to David Hockney was unveiled in Little Germany. The permanent sculpture, made up of a quarter of a million painted nails, was created to coincide with the Bradford-born artist’s 80th birthday, and its unveiling even made Chinese state news.

Now Kala Sangam arts centre has opened a new exhibition of the Bingley-based artist’s other work, as well as a look at how he created the gigantic Hockney piece.

Mr Levine makes his sculptures by hammering nails into intricate patterns. As well as creating abstract images has also used the technique to create portraits of celebrities including Al Pacino and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The eye-catching Hockney artwork, which was the world’s first sculpture made out of painted nails, is 16ft high, 12ft wide and took around 14 months to create. It is made up of four colours.

Its 11 panels feature close-up images of different parts of the artist, which come together to form a portrait inspired by Hockney’s photo montages. The artist is currently working on a 12th panel.

It was commissioned by Little Germany Action Group, a not-for-profit organisation of local business people and residents who are dedicated to improving an area of the city, and is installed on the wall of a building in Peckover Street.

It is hoped that the new exhibition will give people who have yet to see the large-scale Hockney work the chance to learn about its background before heading on to Little Germany to see the finished work for themselves.

Mr Levine’s work will also be the subject of an exhibition in Budapest.

Discussing his nail sculpture, he said: “It took 14 months of work and another five of planning. I had to paint it first to make sure it would work out.

“It is based on four different photos of Hockney. I changed a few things, like hand placements, for artistic reasons.

“My favourite panel is actually the one where it is just his cap. I wanted to give the impression of the material that makes up the cap. Most people wouldn’t notice anything special, but subliminally the different nails give the effect that there is texture there.

“I had to spray-paint every nail, but then when you hammer them in a lot of the paint comes off the head, so you then have to re prime and re paint them once they are hammered in.”

Early on in the process he found out that he was inhaling a lot of the paint that was being knocked off by the hammering, and so had to start wearing a protective mask for health reasons.

Organisations including Arts Council England, home shopping giant Freeman Grattan Holdings and timber merchant and supplier Arnold Laver contributed to the £42,000 cost of the work and its mounting on the Little Germany building. It is now the centrepiece of an arts trail around the historic area of the city centre.

The Kala Sangam exhibition runs until Saturday, October 21.