To enlarge, please click on the image!
" Deep Dirty Magic "
89 cm x 102 cm
Fundamentally my work is an aesthetic practice rather than a conceptual one,
but I like to think of my work as belonging to an ancient, continuous line of craftsmen, who have adorned the fabrics, facades and structures of civilization for thousands of years.
I was in the habit of sketching architectural motifs from the murals and columns of old temples and palaces
many years before I ever noticed the same curves and patterns seeping into my own work.
The formal qualities of my artwork tend to emerge from the particularities and structural limitations of layered plywood.
I tend to start with a very crude idea, or even just a few simple subdivisions on an art board,
and then I start solving problems.
I might resolve one part of a design with simple linear extension and rotation, like an Arabian mural,
and then find another problem created which seems to beg for a more gestural infill.
Whatever other ideas or concepts I may have for a piece,
everything still eventually filters through this idiosyncratic process,
which for better or worse, I remain utterly obsessed with.
About Gabriel Schama:
Working with precisely cut 1/8″ pieces of laser-cut plywood,
Oakland-based artist Gabriel Schama creates densely layered wood relief sculptures that twist, intersect,
and overlap to create various forms.
Each piece begins as a vector illustration which is fed into his laser cutter (which he named Elsie),
is then glued and finished by hand.
His work ranges from abstract mandala- like shapes to realistic human silhouettes.
Other pieces utilize architectural iconography or patterns from nature like scales or leaves.
A unique aspect to his work is the evolution of the designs from piece to piece,
the natural wood tones the only constant in his collection of work.
The graphic and dimensional nature of his art makes it best appreciated in person
and changes based on the lighting or viewing angle.
Some patterns feel traditional in inspiration but executed with a contemporary medium and composition.