Gil Bruvel is a visionary artist, capable of translating complex ideas and fleeting impressions into stunning works of art. His curiosity about the human condition and the workings of the human mind is honed through daily meditative practice. His art emerges from a deep contemplation of images, emotions, and sensations, which he refines continually before he casts them into material form.
Born in Australia but raised in the south of France, Bruvel’s early work is marked by a desire to escape, rather than penetrate, reality at a deeper level. He was influenced by the surrealists such as Salvador Dali, Max Ernst, and Georgio de Chirico. His art was an exercise in imagination through the painting of alternate realities. His immersion in the arts began at an early age, with both parents being working artists: his mother a piano teacher, and his father a pianist and cabinet-maker. Bruvel’s father taught him and his brother to sculpt and carve wood at the early age of six. By age nine he began formal drawing lessons, and painting at age twelve. At fourteen he entered an intensive classical restoration workshop, with over 3 years of coursework on restoring Old Masters. This rigorous program provided training, technique, and appreciation of not just the tools, but of the social and political context that has shaped art history around the globe. This foregrounds Bruvel’s connection to the history and tradition of art, and his desire to transmit truth on a human level, beyond social and political specificities. Bruvel began showing his work in galleries at age sixteen and from there found patronage to forge a full-on pathway in the arts.
While elements of surrealism have been present in his works throughout his career, Bruvel’s later efforts play with the distortion of realities, duality, and multiple perspectives. In his Cubist Series, he reduces human form to component planes and geometric shapes, using negative space to create positive form, and vice versa. He seeks to reinforce the notion of fluidity by expressing multiple viewpoints simultaneously. Bruvel often bends or extends the lines that define human form, dissolving its rigidity and allowing it to connect with the flow that constantly surrounds it. To convey the complex interplay of forces that immerse us, he disrupts vertical lines by inserting horizontal ones. He creates intentional gaps and negative space to highlight disconnect.
Bruvel’s work displays a mastery of technique and high-level craftsmanship. He moves through a wide range of media and forms with ease. His sculptures in bronze, wood, and stainless steel, as well as his functional furniture and mixed media, all reflect a well-defined move towards three-dimensional representation. The influence of architects such as Zaha Hadid, Frank Gehry, and Lebbeus Woods is present in many of his pieces.
Many themes that define Bruvel’s work culminate in his most recent series, Bending the Lines. At first glance, we recognize the ever-prevailing human form but are instantly transfixed by the thousands of wooden shafts that comprise the work. The pixelated outlines mimic our complex neural pathways, while his use of gradient color reinforces our minds’ interconnectedness. The wood is charred to show the impact of natural phenomena on the physical form and its inherently transient nature, which is transformed by the passage of time, revealing further patterns and detail.
Bruvel has resided in and maintained his workshop in Wimberley, Texas since 2010, and he is represented by a host of galleries worldwide.