David Cristobal creates portraits of people with skin like wood texture. The wood knots and grain form to the shapes of the different faces and create these kind of human tree spirits. I’m reminded of some kind of modern day lord of the rings tree incarnations. It’s impressive how well Cristobal can combine the texture of the wood and relates it to the shape of the face. The portrait I’m most drawn to is where there is a large hole in the wood where the eyes would be. In the majority of the portraits, the face is left wholly intact and the wood is more of a veneer. In this portrait, it seems to engage more with the form of the face, and you imagine it more as a sculptural element. This happens again with the women who is missing almost the entire left half of her face, but it’s most successful with the eye-less man. Perhaps this is because eyes are the most revealing element of a face, and the gap reveals the inner depths of the head, whereas with the woman it seems more as if a piece of her face has simply been removed. The woman with large dark eyes whose head ends like an open tree stump is also exceptionally compelling. Obviously because of her eyes, but I believe also because once again an essential element of a complete head, this time the hair, is gone. Excluding an entire element seems preferable to me than excluding an arbitrary portion of the face. The portraits are a lovely combination of nature and humanity, especially when Cristobal finds good balance between the two.
(Via Beautiful Decay)