Romanian born artist, 42-year-old Gabi Rizea only discovered his talent for wood carving three years ago, and has since put it to good use, saving dozens of old tree stumps from being completely removed, by turning them into impressive works of art.
A former forest engineer, Rizea became a wood carver completely by accident. Three years ago, after buying himself a new chainsaw, he started “playing” with it on a block of wood he had in his workshop. He tried carving a human face into the wood, and to his surprise, it turned out pretty good. He liked using the chainsaw for art, so he kept honing his skills. Today, he is so good at it that local authorities in his home city of Craiova, Romania, allow him to work his magic on the old tree stumps dotting the local parks.
“I sometimes make sketches of the designs I want to carve, but in 99% of cases, the wood just doesn’t match my ideas,” the artist said in a recent interview with CVL Press. “Because I have to work with old, highly deteriorated wood, I first have to remove all the rotten parts, and sometimes, what’s left isn’t enough for my designs.”
But having to adjust in order to match the material available sometimes leads to even more impressive results. Case in point, Gabi Rizea’s most popular creation, “Galeata Care Curge” (Water Pouring from Bucket”, a masterpiece carved from an old ash tree. After discovering that half the stump was rotten, the Romanian artist knew that the middle part of his design had to be very thin, and it ended up becoming the water flowing from a bucket.
Photos of Galeata Care Curge recently went viral online, gaining Gabi Rizea international acclaim, but it’s only one of dozens of tree stump artworks he has executed so far. He has completed several commissions for the city of Craiova, turning old tree stumps into unique artworks, as well as dozens of private carvings. Following his recent rise to fame on the internet, Rizea has been asked by other Romania cities, like Timisoara and Slatina, to transform their old tree trunks into intricate works of art. He promised to honor their requests, but out of respect for his home city, he will never replicate any of the artworks found in Craiova.
Gabi Rizea says that he can turn an old tree stump into an artwork in just two days, using chainsaws, chisels and a grinder. Despite his obvious talent, the Romanian artist recently got into art school as well, in order to fully master wood carving.