Recently, we had an opportunity to get up close and personal with artist Gil Bruvel. For over 4 decades, Gil has worked tirelessly to push the envelope in a wide variety of mediums. His latest works see him conquering the realms of digital sculpting and 3D printing using ZBrush. We are delighted to present this intimate look at a man who continues to expand his artistic voice.
For the uninitiated, you have been actively creating artwork for over 40 years. A great deal of social change has occurred in that time. What inspires your work?
My view of creativity is to keep developing strategies to keep the inspiration flowing. Within this process I will always remember Dali's words from "50 Secrets of Craftsmanship." In one of his secrets, he said “Don't throw to the dogs either your eye or your hand or your brain, for you will need them all if you are to be a painter." When I was a young artist, it was all about the impulse, instincts, the single-minded vision to create something mostly from feelings and images popping into my mind. The inspiration is in the constant discovery of the infinite layers of my surroundings. This extends to include everything from the structure of a blade of grass, to the depths of our universe. If there is an intention to understand and completely open oneself up to what is being observed, then patterns start to define themselves and intuitively assemble into interesting pieces of artwork. The richness of these observations is one aspect of inspiration.
When do you decide whether or not you will pursue a piece as a sculpture versus painting or drawing?
This is about seizing the ephemeral moment that flashes through my mind and paying attention to it—a feeling, a sensation, an image. But there are also other factors that come into play, such as the tools being used. As an artist, and as I develop an acquaintance with my day-to-day practices, I develop an affinity with certain tools that will stimulate this very creativity. I have observed this phenomenon throughout my life and of course when I started to work with 3D software. There is a flow of ideas that started to emerge on their own as these tools were being mastered. Interestingly enough, it also changes the way I observe things.
How do you decide on the context or subject matter for a particular collection or piece?
One of my recent endeavors is the Flow Series. This is a series of sculptures attempting to evoke movements, fluidity and patterns inspired by nature—in particular, the movement of elements such as wind or water—and combined with physical sensations. The ephemeral moment is also a big part of it. In other words, this perpetual motion changes instantaneously and continuously into something else, and what we see at any one moment is just a fragment, a fraction, as if frozen in time. This concept had been percolating in my mind for a while until I felt ready to experiment. The parameters I arbitrarily set were: keep it simple in its expression, avoiding distracting elements and aiming at a sensation of fullness; keep it focused to the main goal of expressing movement, fluidity, sensations and streams of energy. I felt stainless steel was a great metal for this series. It would keep a certain amount of reflectivity that can be modulated by different levels of polishing, which relates to the sense of immersion and connection within an environment.