Above: Artist Dave Sabo emulates gourd masks out of metal and glass. Photograph by Inga Hendrickson.
DAVE SABO'S ORNATE MASKS appear seamless—glass and metal flow together in a way that feels effortless and organic. Deep reds, rich golds, and brilliant shades of turquoise look like precise brushstrokes. “Everything that I do is basically the same as what people did in the 1500s and 1600s,” says the Corrales artist, who uses anvils, hammers, and other blacksmithing tools for his masks (about $250). Sabo, son of famed New Mexican artist Betty Sabo, spent 25 years as a biologist in the rural West. Inspired by the petroglyphs he encountered in the field, Sabo uses mostly recycled metal and a glass technique he developed to imbue his art with life and purpose. Colonial Spanish and Native American influences are common threads that unify Sabo’s artistic pursuits. “What I’m trying to do is emulate gourd masks,” he says. “I thought if I could do it with glass, the colors would be so vibrant and never fade.”