I’m Flying Like an Airplane 2020

I’m Flying Like an Airplane 2020. Oil on canvas 100×110 cm.

אני טס כמטוס 2020

I worked and reworked this canvas for years. It began with a plan to create a painting entirely in shades of white. Soon a tree entered. Followed by yellows and my beloved weird greenish “dark yellows” joined. (They arecreated by adding a drop of black into various lemons and flame colors.

My sleeping pilot made his landing last week.

The Heroics of the Invisible People

Oil on canvas. All three were painted during spring 2020, during the Corona epidemic and lockdown. This period has been particularly fruitful for me.

Self Portrait with Triangles 2018

Gouache 35 x 51 cm

A small secret: I gave a color challenge to a new student, to create a colorful painting using just black and three different yellow. The goals were to explore the oxymoron of ”dark yellow”, and how so very much, can be expressed with so few resources.
I always begin teaching with that yellow challenge.then I did it myself. And made a very colorful , pretty work that did not satisfy me at all.

The day after the massacre in Pittsburg, I sat in my studio, struggling to focus on work.
Towards the end of the day, I pulled out this painting. In a fit of urgency, I painted myself over the pattern, first by scrubbing dirty water, then paint. First by memory, then with a mirror.

As always, my selfies contain some brutal honesty. We all need brutal introspection, as individuals, as collectives and as ideological camps.

But what I also discovered, was a way to combine seemingly conflicting art languages that appeal to me: Ornament and Expressionism.

Making Sense of it All

Making Sense of it All Chanan Mazal @2017

Oil on canvas, 100 x 110 cm

כי האדם עץ השדה? דברים כ:יט
For is the tree of the field a man? Deuteronomy 20:19.

Using trees to portray human soul and destiny, is as old as art and psychology itself.

I choose particular species and shapes to symbolize my state of mind or big life questions. Trees may be steady or rebellious, wise or impetuous. mature or potential, spiritual or carnal, and Hebrew or universal.

Why this particular childlike tree shape?

Its fluffy, cloud like foliage sits top-heavy, upon the slender trunk with its graceful Gothic slouch. Well, that upper part obviously is about my/our air filled thoughts:
Head in the clouds. Spirituality for the masses. Fuzzy thinking.
All of that air sits upon a delicate, flexible trunk of decisiveness and actions.

I completed the painting while listening to online lectures about the psychological symbolism of Genesis. Symbols like The Creator carving meaning out of the primordial chaos and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil – teach us so much about creating sense in our personal life path.

Those green serpentines of confusion and attention deficiency, were painted before listening to the lectures. After completion, visitors to my studio shouted, “Ah! That’s the serpent tempting Eve to eat from the fruit of self knowledge.”
Smart visitors.

My Work at the Jerusalem Biennale 2015

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I am honored to participate in this years Jerusalem Biennale – in the group show “A Sense of Space, A Sense of Place, curated by my talented colleague Mallory Serebrin. The show is in a unique location – a century old Armenian villa, that served for half a century as a school for deaf children. The exterior is magnificent. The interior – reminds me of my artwork! The work is a polydych, of four panels, called “Common Cypress”, the botanical name of the Mediterranean cypress. In Hebrew – ברוש מצוי Each panel is named buy a line from a song of the Israeli cannon, revealing a strong connection to this unique place.

Brosh-Matzui-A2000

Hamsin

בחמסין בקרה – מ”ברוש” של אהוד מנור ואריאל זילבר

Bab-el-Wad900

באב אל ואד – מילים חיים גורי

Numa-Eretz900

נומה עמק ראץ תפארת מ”שיר העמק, מילים נתן אלטרמן

Me-eretz-Merhakim900

מארץ מרחקים מ”אל הציפור” מילים חיים נחמן ביאליק

Images from the Gallery Talk

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