Tuesday, August 21, 2007
The Power of Black and White
הכח של שחור לבן
I played with opposites. Black and white patterns are by nature, quite colorful. By multiplying textures, inverting positive and negative spaces and playing with the moods that shapes suggest - the artist can suggest color to the brain.
Not content with this challenge, I then played with the contrast between gentle colored patterns and objects, and the starkness of the black and white ceramics. Which is stronger? I had to work hard to balance them.
Then I added another trick question for the viewer's brain. We tend to seek out light. But what is the most brilliant - the dirty white, or the reflective silvers and golds?
Ha! Confused you! Now go find your way in the picture, with the arrows and tangents pointing in all different ways.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Pomegranates - Unnamed
I sold this painting - one of my favorites, when still unnamed. I described it as being influenced by the Wiener Werkstätte. So at the risk of sending my very Israeli pomegranates into Exile, I might name it "Vienna Pomegranates".
Painting it (a great learning experience) was tremendous fun. I schlepped the canvas home each evening under my arm (If I was one cm shorter, it wouldn't fit) and painted like a Whirling Dervish until 2 or 3 am.
Unfortunately, my broken camera, and my lack of experience, do not allow a better view of the layers of color, textures and reflections. As I type this, I am kicking myself for not getting it professionally photographed. But as usual, my best works are made under pressure. I finished this beauty the night before my flight to exhibitions in the US, framed it in the morning, and schlepped it on the plane.
Sold, to a private collector US
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
The Tzuf Devash synagogue, belonging to the Moroccan community within the Old City of Jerusalem, survived the Jordanian occupation as a hollow shell. As it is hidded away inside a courtyard, the gem is not well known or visited.
I began the painting, both inspired by the beauty of building itself, the pioneering spirit of its builders, and with an ambition to make the acrylic paint do 3D pyrotechnics. I chose a very rigid symmetrical composition, to counterbalance the finger painting. The plants at the base were added much later, to provide a restful break from the symmetry.
בית הכנסת הגדול - עפולה
The road to Afula plows straight though the Jezrael Valley. Very unusual in this hilly country. Hence, it is called the "Ruler Road" and Afula - "The hole at the end of the ruler".
At the very center of the hole, lies one of the most charming main streets in the country, with a wide avenue of huge palm trees and benches running down the center. So much love was given in Afula's building!
At the head of the avenue, stands the Great Synagogue, Bet Shalom. It was built in 1928, and hasn't lost a bit of it's beauty.
This small painting as one of my first on canvas, and I'm keeping it as a souvenir. I battled with the paint medium, as I had only worked with goache and aquarelle for many years.
Once again, dared to use a human figure.
The pioneer is no longer young - but as the Bible said about Moses, Lo nas lekho "His vigor was unabated". The literal meaning is stronger; "his moisture had not fled" i.e. like the inversion of the English expression, "a dried up old hag".
Anyway - back to my vigorous Halutz. His look is a bit ironic, a bit affectionate, and certainly taking joy in the fruits of his labor. The Land of Israel is blooming. He looks at the cynics and "Post-Zionists" with a smile, like a good natured grandpa, chuckling at the little ones' childish antics.
As usual when I draw men, the pioneer looked a bit like me at first. I get stuck in the self portrait mode. Then I gave him a personality of his own. Under the skin tones, I painted a base coat of gold and bronze. The result is luminous - "bronzed by the sun" and a bit heroic.
Every so often, I just have to get away from anything didactic. This cabaret singer/dancer/actress is my most recent escapade. I enjoyed her grotesque, yet expressive and feminine posture. And her bittersweet stare.
I used a rather limited palette, but flittered silver, pearl and gold generously. The colors were deliberately muddied, but on the jet black gesso, even mud becomes luminous.
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
I've always loved architecture, and I've always loved history. Like for the classic small child, who always draws face-like houses with two window/eyes and one door, houses embody for me, the souls of their residents. And they have souls of their own as well.
This painting tells the biography of Israeli architecture, during the romantic period of the first Aliyot. It begins with the local Arab vernacular, nouveau Shtetl elegance, and the red tile roof of Provence. The black basalt comes from the Kinneret. The pink stucco from the coast.
Sold, Private Collection, USA
I don't know what I was feeling when I created this character. He's a sort of Jewish Midnight Cowboy. Part Hippie, part "Pushtak" (the 1970's Israeli "greaser") part Pilgrim Seeking Truth, and part clown. For certain, he is infused with the Israeli Wanderlust. Having just barely established roots, he is out hitch hiking, by the palm trees leading to the old terminal at Ben Gurion Airport.
Is he my alter-ego?