You don’t have to be an art history buff to appreciate the famous statue of David by Michelangelo. But Renaissance men and women around the world have carved out a special role for the 511-year-old piece: muse. Most recently, artist Tang Jialu, 68, attempted to recreate the head of the original, six-ton marble structure with an unconventional material: toothpicks.

The handcrafted version of David, which uses 87,000 toothpicks, is now on display at the 2015 Chongqing Culture Industry Expo. The artist reportedly spent two and a half months creating the 3D portrait.


Originally using paint as his only medium, Jialu became interested in unusual materials about two years ago. He is now known for using objects such as beans, seeds, nails, cotton buds, and buttons to recreate iconic pieces of artwork. In addition to his David, the creator is most famous for a piece titled The Iron Great Wall, a picture of the Great Wall of China made entirely of nails.

First nails, now toothpicks? It seems like Jialu has a thing for pointy objects. Maybe that’s his way of saying, “Keep your hands off the art.”

All images courtesy of en.people.cn