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Silhouette Portrait Sculpture

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This wood sculpture was made by Italian immigrant Romano Gabriel, originally part of his Wooden Sculpture Garden in Eureka, California. Gabriel was born in 1887 in Mura (Brescia province) and died in 1977 in Eureka. He came to the United States in 1913, eventually settling in Eureka where he worked as a gardener. Over the course of many decades he designed and built out of reclaimed wood and other materials a lively community of people and animals presented among brightly colored flowers and plants. The pieces were mainly installed on his front yard, outside of his house at 1415 Pine Street in Eureka. Many of his structures evoke an Italian sensibility while other aspects are more recognizably associated with California. This piece was already poorly faded when I purchased it in 2012. Each side shows a different silhouette but I chose to favor this side for this exhibit because of the way the figure’s thick eyebrows are emphasized with an added piece of wood.

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