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Not just another pretty face: Enigmatic expressions emerge from vibrantly colored wooden ‘pixels’

November 28, 2022

Texas-based artist Gil Bruvel captures feelings of tranquility in his ongoing series of sculptures. Using colorful blocks of wood, he constructs large-scale portraits of calm expressions. As a result of this innovative technique, these faces possess a mesmerizing textural quality to them that mimics a pixelated aesthetic, reports My Modern Met.


Originally from Australia and the South of France, Bruvel has been practicing vipassanā meditation for over 40 years. The Mask Series is his way of depicting different emotional states associated with this routine—by way of expression, color, form, and pattern.


Aside from the distinct approach, these numerous faces share some similarities. All of these portraits feature human faces with eyes closed, for instance. Some may smile, but most possess just a gentle curve of the lips that reflects their contentment.


When viewed up close, these sculptural works look as though they could be made from metal or some other material. However, when Bruvel reveals the full 360 view, it is easier to make out the dozens of wooden blocks that are fused together to create a distinctly human face. While smaller and thinner planks are used in the center of the face, such as the nose and lips, thicker lumber is added to the perimeter of the face, almost creating a frame around the facial features.


To see more amazing sculptures by Bruvel, follow the artist on Instagram to keep up to date with his latest projects.


Research contact: @mymodernmet