We have all seen wood being used in many different ways in sculptures. But here is a sculptor who uses thousands of burnt wood sticks to create portraits, using color gradients to accentuate their features. Meet Gil Bruvel, a sculptor who is considered a master of pixelated portraits made out of wood sticks. He is also famous for his equally beautiful steel sculptures.
It was Bruvel’s father who introduced him to the fascinating world of woodcraft when he was only nine. His father, a cabinetmaker by profession, taught him furniture design and wood sculpting. Once he gained these skills, he began his studies at an art restoration workshop in Chateaurenard, France, where he learned the techniques of old and modern masters. It was here that he got a chance to enhance his knowledge about wood and within no time was crafting portraits in wood. Afterward, he set up his studio in St. Remy de Provence, Southern France.
A look at Bruvel’s works makes it evident that this visionary artist is certainly capable of transforming his unique ideas into stunning works of art. He uses a special wood-burning technique called ‘yakisugi’ for his wood stick sculptures. This Japanese technique, commonly used in Japan, imparts a deep charcoal color to the wood. Through this technique, he manages to bring out different textures depending upon the type of wood and the duration of burning. Later he paints them in colorful gradients. It is the emotions that he infuses in his sculptures that make them so special.
Pixelated Wood Sculptures of Faces by Gil Bruvel
Bruvel is influenced by the works of surrealists, such as Salvador Dali, Max Ernst, and Georgio de Chirico. One can find elements of surrealism in all his works. However, in his later works, he plays with the distortion of realities and duality. In his Cubist series, he reduces human form to geometric shapes.
Born in Sydney, Australia, but raised in the South of France, Bruvel is not only a master at crafting wood sculptures but is equally adept at creating steel sculptures. His ‘Flow’ series of sculptures use strips and strands of steel to build facial features that look oh-so-tender, despite the use of hard and cold steel!
Bruvel currently resides in Wimberley in Texas, USA. His works comprising a series of masks and several steel sculptures are currently being showcased at Galerie Montemarte in Paris, France, as part of the ‘Face to Face’ exhibition. The exhibition is on till May 14, 2022.
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