On Painting as Conservant (Hebrew Version)

During my first years of painting (1999-2004) I focused on the concept of Home, expressing it in various images describing place, searching for elusive, unattainable domesticity. The paintings mostly described architectural spaces, devoid of figures, full or empty. Some of the spaces had a distinct function, such as storage rooms or medical clinics; others were part of collective history, places such as tents or ruins, open to interpretation.

Tackling Home as a place brought up the question of movement and migration. Paintings of ships and tents described a loose connection to the ground; drawings of caravans attempted to ground a place essentially designed for motion. Preoccupation with questions of place and shelter, along with a constant echo of danger, were expanded to questions of permanency versus migration.

These questions became poignant in the group show I participated in, 'The Houses at Home Live in Apartments' (Petach Tikva Museum, 2008. Curator: Anat Gatenio).
The show deals with the sense of migration felt by those who are not migrants, with the DNA of migration, an inheritance of sorts from the grandfather's generation, characterizing an existential state sipping into the human experience.
The exhibition included two series of my work. The first - a series of drawing done using earth on paper, portrayed cryptic scenes based on photos from my grandfather's life. These scenes carried a sense of European foreignness, in which the shrub and wild bushes serve a double role, of beauty and warning, a symbol to Europe's fatal lure.
In the second series of paintings I created large drawings of pastel on paper baring the name 'In-Between Situations'. The series showed various edgy situations: on the verge of seeing, on the verge of deciding, on the verge of blindness. In terms of dealing with time, the series oscillates between paintings expressly connoting a concrete past and between futuristic, invented apocalyptic paintings.

Human figures started trying to fit into the painted landscape of my paintings, starting 2006. They were searching for space in the canvas which is their natural Home, but mostly remained foreign to it, finding it hard to turn into an organic part of the space. This pictorial trait, dealing with the gap between the figures and the space around then, exists at the thematic level (questions of foreignness, belonging and absurd) and at the gaze of the onlooker, seeking an explanation in time and space to the location and role of the figure. The gap makes it hard to place the figure in a reassuring, comforting context, with a sense of solution.

In the past couple of years I create painted scenarios in which figures have a significant role in space. The human figure appears especially in a narrative-descriptive context, mostly as part of a group.
The group takes away the importance of the individual and makes it an insignificant detail in the broader context. It intensifies the feeling of sameness and increases foreignness and loss of individuality.
Groups of people reappear in the paintings, as taking part in various historical events, or within an historical context of another time and place. There are groups of pioneers, draftees, schoolchildren, sport teams, Greek statues, nudist, etc.

My paintings shift on the seam of memory and place, both elusive and unattainable. Color, stain and line attempt to give figures and places some validity, returning their lost livelihood. Various human portraits painted on the cloth 'see' in the white cloth what was there before - the empty cloth from which they emerged is also their obvious end.