Building a dialogue between History and Iconography, to reveal a snapshot of it in his works, is at the heart of Gabriel's artistic approach. By making historic news reports and prominent personalities respond to each other in a mirroring set up, he works towards a modernized resurrection of iconic images of the past. In doing so, he invites the public to remember to question how our contemporary icons are constructed.
Son, grandson and great-grandson of historians, Gabriel has enriched his family’s legacy with his passion for photojournalism from its emergence in the 1970s. His remarkable collection of rare and memorable images plays a central role in the genesis of his first series "Find a Word for It", a physical transcription through art of his intellectual fascination with historical archives.
A committed collector, Gabriel dedicates months of research into each work, sourcing and gathering archived documents from newspapers to administrative acts and town plans to juxtapose the key elements to create a lexical canvas with which his portraits correspond. Sacred idols and historical figures from Napoleon to the Beatles, Mao and Obama borrow from the emblematic clichés of Yousuf Karsh, among others. Gabriel also claims an influence of Pop Art in its systematic, disruptive, and deliberately accessible to all, far from any academic approach.
In his new series "Oedipial Disobediance", the artist pushes the relationship between retrospection and introspection a step further, towards the intimate. He questions the malleability of an identity, and the subtle and arbitrary balance between innate and acquired.
A curious and insatiable explorer, Gabriel looks to daily life for textures, tints and techniques for his paintings: from acrylic paint to Posca markers, charcoal, stencils, coffee and nail polish... He weaves original archives into his work, with some documents dating back to the 17th century to understand the subtleties and fragilities of these historical news reports that have weathered centuries. Faithful to the Pop principle challenging the uniqueness of art, Gabriel creates each unpublished archival composition as a limited-edition art print. Each subject is individually unique, while at the same time can form part of a series of works.
An aesthete by education, but a self-taught artist, Gabriel was inspired in his youth by his encounter with the Dadaist spirit, which, from Picabia to Man Ray, plays with aesthetic, social and cultural codes. Impressed by the photographs of Weegee and Yousuf Karsh, and the work of Jasper Johnes, he sees in the writings of Rainer Maria Rilke, and his creative injunction, the alpha of his artistic practice.
After a nomadic youth between Italy, France and the Middle East, Gabriel has been in Singapore for 11 years.