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Shai Yehezkelli

Portfolio of the day

October 23, 2017



Who are you?

My work deals mostly with the connection between painting and art practice in general and between middle-eastern and Jewish historical, political and identity-related narratives. The subject is always the image, or a symbol out of a set of symbols I am interested in and working with. Some of them are the so called "self-portraits", some of them are archaeological artifacts, some of them are fountains, and some are based on Judeo-Christian medieval imagery. In a sense, all images have a function  – The Vase (Kad), The Eternal Wandering Jew, The Huge-nosed Smiley – they are all keys that alongside the composition and the color, activate the painting.




Shai Yehezkelli Self Portrait

Self Portrait by Shai Yehezkelli




Another subject I am constantly attracted to is the ridiculousness of being an artist. I am unsatisfied of art as religion for the modern atheist world and the absence of the aura which characterized an age with perfect and simple answers. I deal with that a lot through my works – the desired flatness of the painting, the images of holiness that has lost their meaning and power. I see the illusion of depth as the deception of the painting, and it is one of the things I avoid on purpose. To me, that illusion symbolizes what I find most disturbing in the practice of art – the attempt to create a religious depth, a sort of theology of secular worlds. It is the inability to provide what I see as a real lack in our world.


In that respect, the images I have dealt with in the past testify to a world that had higher providence or a conviction in absolute wisdom, a world of private identity, of spirituality and freedom to choose your new-age cult. I am not trying to formulate, recreate or realize that place, but rather point out the absence, among other things - the absence of that particular time in our experience in general and in art in particular.




Untitled by Shai Yehezkelli



What is your next creative project?

I have just recently finished a project at the Jewish Museum of Switzerland who invited me earlier this year to create a four-piece painting-based installation for the show "Art After Chagall. The Breakthrough Century" Opening next week. I am now just working in the studio as usual, with no specific plans but keep working.


What do you like about Portfoliobox?

I like Portfoliobox for being mostly accessible and looking rather nice. There's still stuff to improve, I guess, but I believe the Portfoliobox team is on the wright way.



View of the exhibition In Praise of Avalanche



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