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fresh paint 5

  • Location:
    New High School, New High School, 3 Shoshana Persits Street, Tel Aviv, IL

Fresh Paint contemporary art fair is Israel’s largest, most influential annual art event. The fair is held each year in a surprising, new location in Tel Aviv – the beating heart of the Israeli cultural world, and attracts over 30,000 visitors. The fair brings together all the leading galleries and significant forces of the Israeli art scene, collaborates with all the Israeli museums, and enjoys the support of leading international art institutions.

Esther Naor
I Am Forever Fog, 2012
Soft wax, variable dimensions

The new series of works by artist Esther Naor deals with pain and fear through the genre of portrait. She sculpts heads with anonymous facial features, with a special technique that uses soft wax to fake marble. The head sculptures, reminiscent of classic sculpture portraits, range from the perfect to the wounded and bleeding. Several ones are reminiscent of works of art that were made as a reaction to violent events, such as Picasso's Guernica, or Tumarkin's wounded figures. Except that Naor doesn't react to a concrete reality; she relates to a fragile, threatened universal existence, under constant pain and anxiety. Naor wishes to grab these feelings and turn them into physical bodies, a sort of Voodoo puppets whose role has been reversed and aim now to release the body from the pain, to allow an external look at it, to rediscover the sense of compassion and suggest consolation and healing.

The series in question here is a continuation and development of the installation in the Florentin 45 gallery, earlier this year, which used fleshy and bloody images in contrast to pure white gauze sails. The aesthetic aspect was one of undefined internal organs which were removed from the body, perhaps in an act of violence, perhaps in an act of healing. The recent works, however, are figurative and concrete, in black, white and shades of gray in between, unlike the dominant red in the previous installation. Paradoxically, the monochromatic blurring of the facial traits gives each figure its own and unique identity, despite the generic and identical point of start. The unique and generic (hence the individual and public) merge into one multi-faceted identity who wishes to gather the pieces and redefine itself.