Gabriel Shaffer (born 1975)
Gabriel Shaffer is an emerging self-taught/visionary artist who lives and works in Asheville, North Carolina. He is the son of Cher Shaffer, the nationally renowned visionary folk artist. Shaffer was raised within the self-taught medium and had contact with many folk and self-taught masters as a young boy. His complex work is often classified in the outsider art genre, but contains many elements of graffiti, collage, and comic book/cartoon illustration. Gabriel’s art is driven by an obsession with the relationships between sound, symbol and image. He layers text, collage, and various medias to create a circuit board of color and texture. His haunting images communicate strange narratives from Shaffer’s own personal mythology. His characters consist of old angels, protectors, tribal totems, dolls, puppets, flying houses, ghosts, aliens, and creatures conjured from his imagination. Shaffer is a solitary artist, who uses the power of storytelling to explore his inner worlds and exorcise himself from the "madness of humanity". He has no other option than to "create to cope" as it is his belief that mankind is living in an "apocalyptic age".
Shaffer began selling his earliest works in January 2004 and had his first exhibition in July 2004, at the Broome Street Gallery/Historic Cedar Tavern in New York City. Since then his work has been received with notable acclaim and he has exhibited and sold to many collectors, galleries and museums, nationally and internationally. Shaffer‘s major debut was with the Berenberg Gallery, at the 2005 Outsider Art Fair.