Ment(or/ee) | Gil Bruvel & David Davis

Slate Gray South August: Ment(or/ee), Featuring Gil Bruvel & David Davis, Opens With Art Walk, 8/4!

Telluride Arts’ August Art Walk takes place Thursday, August 4, 2022. Throughout the month, Slate Gray Gallery Telluride is featuring two shows at Slate Gray South (formerly the Telluride Gallery of Fine Art): “Re-Wired” showcasing the work of Judy Kohin and “Ment(or/ee)” highlighting the edgy sculptures of Gil Bruvel and David Davis. Slate Grate North is hosting a group show, highlights of the combined stables (since the acquisition of the Telluride Gallery’s lease). Go here for more on that show.

Complimentary gallery guides are available for self-guided tours. At participating venues or online at

Go here for more on “Re-Wired.”

Go here for more about Slate Gray.

Gil Bruvel


David Davis

“Art is made from dreams and visions, and things not known, and least from things that can be said. It comes from the inside of who you are when you face yourself. It is an inner declaration of purpose… David Smith, 1959.

During the Renaissance, pictures were meant to tell stories, usually texts from the Bible or classical mythology. Painted, sculpted, or drawn bodies in those images were made to speak volumes by the way they were arranged.

Artists who followed in their footsteps incorporated the lessons of their antecedents and used many of the same figurative conventions – but with one key difference: over time there was less interest in depicting the external world (or illustrating texts) than in reaching beyond known or visible reality. Instead, new generations of artists chose to examine and express the subtle interior states of the human psyche. Detailed or realistic renderings of the human face and form gave way to more imaginative interpretations, often involving exaggerations in shape and/or color to heighten the emotional impact of the subject.

Case in point visionary artists Gil Bruvel and David Davis, friends with a mentor (Gil)/mentee (David) relationship, who speak the same language about form and its function in their work. The title of their duet at Slate Gray South, up for the month of August, is “Ment(or/ee).

The exhibition underlines the artists’ passion for life, especially for the creative process, which translates experiences, memories, thoughts and feelings into tangible beauty and underlines the double function of their work (and sculptors like them): to recognize a worldly identity, as well as the endless surprises that emerge from active inner lives.

“Ment(or/ee).officially opens with Art Walk on August 4 (with an artist’s talk at 4 pm.)

Image, Gil Bruvel


Contemplation, David Davis




Immersed 1, Davis

Quoting a recent article about Gil’s work:

“…Bruvel presents a series of meditating faces, sculpted from wood he calls ‘burn sticks.’ This involves a ritual process of building up layered profiles, bringing the assemblage together sculpturally, and then burning the wood…Additional surface treatment leaves the wood’s veins accentuated, the alchemy of the process serving as a reminder that we are all organic, ephemeral beings with a limited time in which to act…” 

“Bruvel speaks of our deep human history with wood, how trees adapt and survive, and how we have likewise adapted and survived through their use as a primary tool and material…

“…The pixelated outlines mimic our complex neural pathways, while his use of gradient color reinforces interconnectedness.” 

“I would say as an overall view for my Masks/Pixelated Form Series, it is a representation of an inner life that is expressed via the meditative heads or faces, and the colors are more of a representation of various emotional states,” explains Gil. “Since an early age color for me were an expression of emotions, states of mind and feelings, down to equating colors to sounds. We can see in the animal world the pulsating/changing colors used by different animals to either camouflage or signaling something to the outside world.

“For the stand-alone pieces typically the back of the sculpture/behind the head, I create an abstract pattern representing a neural network that symbolize our life experiences, emotions, sensations and feelings etc. at any given time…

Quoting the show’s curator, gallery director Krissy Kula:

“…David Davis forged his artistic career with fire, welding hundreds of pieces of steel into beautifully posed forms for his ‘Reflections’ series. A long-standing passion for figurative arts was the driving force behind the work which began almost four years ago. Each figure starts with the subject striking a pose. Davis then photographs and sketches the model, measures every inch of the body, and finally welds the pieces together shard by shard to recreate the model to scale…Many of his subjects are holding yoga poses, are deep in a meditative state, or taking time for reflection – embodying ideas of physical, mental, and spiritual self-betterment.”

“I suppose I see abstraction in everything in that everything can be questioned conceptually by various perspectives,” adds David. “So I feel that my work exists as a bridge between how we see ourselves as individual entities and the concepts that drive us and allow us to flourish. The fragmentation allows the forms to exist as we do, as our ideas do, in various facets, forever changing in relation to the perspective taken. We do not exist as a singular represented idea…”



Steadfast 1, Davis




Utrasana 5, Davis

About the mentor/mentee relationship:

TIO to Gil: Please talk about your relationship with David Davis. What do you think he learned from him and you from him when he was your assistant?

David taught me to be more patient with my assistants