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.

Trente Triangles, 2017

Trente Triangles 2017, ©2017 Chanan Mazal, Jerusalem

Thirty Triangles. Gouache, 46 x 61 cm. (18″ x 24″)
שלושים משולשים, 2017. גואש 46 * 61
Inspired by the “Crazy Quilts” traditionally made by African American women.
The composition, with its two, not quite balanced halves and with arrows pointing all over, defies all logic. But it works.

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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Studio Espionage

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A peek at my painting process. Early May, 2013.
Pencil and ink, then gouache, on 3 “Claybord” panels. (Wood, coated with white clay.) 30 x 135 cm.