James O’Neal – The man behind Arnold and Franco’s wooden statues

The new statue of Franco Columbu by James O'Neal is scheduled to be ready in December.

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James O'Neal

James O’Neal – The man behind Arnold and Franco’s wooden statues.

The bodybuilding and fitness world is full of the most amazing people with great characters and skills.

Some don’t need to step on a bodybuilding stage to make a difference in this crazy sport that we love so much.

Earlier this week, evolutionofbodybuilding.net received a message from James O’Neal. He sent us the latest photos on his new project of Franco Columbu.

James is starting to make a name for himself in the bodybuilding world thanks to the fantastic work that he does.

After we got to know James better, we decided it would be great to do a feature on him and promote the great work he does.


Wooden sculptors is what James is well known for. Working at an oil refinery as a profession, James still finds the time to produce these fantastic pieces of art.

James lives in New Jersey and he started the art of carving over 12 years ago.

It was just four years ago when James started to carve life size people from tree trunks.

James told evolutionofbodybuilding.net that it takes about five to six months to finish a life size sculpture.

Already, James has a great collection of sculptures, Conor Mcgregor, Muhammad Ali, Floyd Mayweather, Cris Cyborg, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Rocky.

James really started to gain popularity when his Arnold Schwarzenegger sculpture started to make its rounds on social media.

In 2019, James decided to rent a booth at the Arnold Sports Festival in Ohio and display his work.

Arnold Schwarzenegger took the time to visit the booth and take a photo with the stature of himself and also speak to James.


During the Arnold Classic, James decided his next statue would be of Franco Columbu.

At present, James is three months into the Franco project and his dream was to present it to him since he grew up following Arnold and Franco when he was younger.

After a few months into his Franco project, James noticed that Franco himself started to follow James on his official Instagram account – @jamesonealwoodart.

Till the day before he passed away, Franco ‘liked’ the last photo he saw of the work in progress of the statue of himself.

Unfortunately, James never got to meet Franco Columbu in person, but thanks to this statue, his memory will live on forever.

The stature is scheduled to be ready by December 2019, and when ready it will stand proudly next to his best friend Arnold Schwarzenegger.

James has informed evolutionofbodybuilding.net that he has already secure a booth for the 2020 Arnold Sports Festival USA. Make sure you go and checkout his fantastic work.

Make sure you follow James on his official Instagram page – @jamesonealwoodartor his Facebook page – facebook.com/Jamesonealwoodsculptures

Official website: jamesonealwoodart.com

James O'Neal
Work in progress: The statue of Franco Columbu
The sculpture of Franco Columbu in its beginning stages
James O'Neal
James O’Neal next to the statue he created of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

James O'Neal