Chanan Mazal – Art Studio Update February 2012

Dear Friends,

I would like to share some of my recent artwork with you.

Last May, at the opening of my show at the Jerusalem Theatre, I spoke about the border between ornament and art, and about my exploration of ornament’s potential as a vehicle for emotional and artistic expression. I have found this subject to be even deeper and more gratifying than I had imagined. While applying more and more layers to each painting, I alternatively create denser layers of pattern, or masks to hide or mutate them. Like a toddler building a tower of blocks, building, knocking down, and building again. At the same time, my own levels of raw emotions vacillate with a desire to return to a well behaved and pretty aesthetic. Like the naughty child in Sendak’s “Where the Wild Things Are”.

My goal is to stop working at that enigmatic point in time, when I feel that this tug of war, has reached a perfect tie: The war is between impulsive, yet engaging “bad taste” and refined, pleasing “good taste”. The moment when our tense concentration, breaks into a humorous, joyous smile.

I use the power or delicacy of pattern, to counterbalance my deliberately coarse executed of earlier layers; to correct my deliberately imperfect compositions, and to make peace with waring colors. I prefer to initially attack the canvas as quickly as possible, from my gut. Then I patiently, thoughtfully and joyfully, build up the painting to that moment of equilibrium. Perhaps we all get gratification from fixing broken things.

When artists paint portraits of others, in a sense they are always painting themselves. Likewise, I feel that even when painting the most neutral of objects, these works reflect my own search for self identity. Our teenage self definitions get redefined over time, as we mature, change our family and work roles, and re clarify our values.

I find that self humor is a great tool. Perhaps that is why so many of my works contain either a well balanced, symmetrically placed
object, over a joyfully chaotic undercoat, or impossibly off balanced bowls, about to roll off of the canvas.

If any of you folks are here in Jerusalem, please join me at the opening of my newest exhibition:

Tuesday Feb. 21 2012, from 6 – 9 pm
at the AACI Center, 2 Poalei Zedek St. corner of Pierre Koenig, 4th floor. (across from the Hadar Mall in Talpiot)
The show will be open from Feb 2 to April 5, 2012

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