Oakland, CA-based artist Gabriel Schama layers thin sheets of laser-cut wood to create amazingly intricate wood relief sculptures made up of dizzying patterns and textures. While known for his geometric, mandala-like compositions, several of the artist's most recent works fill elegant silhouettes with precisely cut designs, creating elaborate portraits that fuse figurative and abstract motifs.
“These recent silhouette pieces are not a new thread in my work,” Schama told us via email. “When I started working in cut paper, five or six years ago, I was almost exclusively working on a style of surreal portraiture. When I started doing fully abstract works, it was mostly a way of delving deeper into the patterns and textures that were already visible in my designs. I have been working with my laser cutter for over a year now, and there has been so much space to explore in terms of technique and structure that I haven't wanted to do anything other than large abstract compositions.” He added, “The most recent composition emerged because I had been frustrated for a week or so by the challenges a particular over-sized composition was posing. So I culled some of the better parts of the design, looped a silhouette around it, and cut it out the same day.”
Due to a high volume of orders and commission work, Schama's online shop is currently closed, but keep an eye out for a limited-time, pre-Christmas sale at the end of November.
My Modern Met granted permission to use photos by Gabriel Schama.