Australian-born, French-raised artist Gil Bruvel explores the depths of the human mind in his ongoing sculpture series, Bending the Lines. He uses a simple medium—colorfully painted wooden sticks—that, when combined, turn into his pixelated, sculptural forms expressing complex human emotion.
Similar to the classic pinscreen toy you might remember from your childhood, Bruvel’s pieces feature three-dimensional relief motifs that appear as though they’ve been pressed through from the back side. However, rather than temporary impressions of a nose or hand, Bruvel’s works reveal permanent images of serene human faces and abstract patterns. From the front, many of Bruvel’s sculptures visualize calm emotions, but from the back, the sticks appear as a jumble of vibrant color, representing the explosion of inner thought, and synapses firing within the brain.
“These faces depict expressions of serenity and inner reflection, each purposefully structured into an example of meditative emotion,” says Bruvel. “Mimicking the depths of the human psyche, the artworks can be experienced with a new perspective from each perceivable angle into the creases and shadows of the individual sculptures.”
While many of Bruvel’s works depict realistic human faces, some of his most recent pieces are inspired by emojis. Many of us use these simple, graphic representations of emotion when communicating online, but Bruvel’s works highlight the intent and emotion behind these modern symbols.