Eight Primordial Paintings
From my point of view, humour and irony include tragedy; they’re two sides of the same coin. —Maurizio Cattelan
In Shai Yehezkelli’s second solo exhibition at the Mindy Solomon Gallery we see imagery that explores the vastness of human emotions reduced to both simple and complex ideas. A visual master of comedy, Yehezkelli puts human interaction on canvas in a way that makes us both uncomfortable and engaged. Yehezkelli states: “I am thinking about a point in time in which catastrophe got bored with us.” Yehezkelli continues: “We live in the midst of an explosion. Big politics, big money, big ideas. Soon the ashes will rise up. We will overlook it.”
In Original Sin Painting,2020 the viewer becomes the voyeur in the act of fornication between a man and a woman. Bold color and gestural line convey the frenzy and joy of the moment, while the question of morality hangs in the air like a swirling blue line. Continued exploration of sexuality exists in Essence Painting, 2020 a minimalist visual confection where two faces and two breasts confront each other as if to say, “you need me”. Yehezkelli opines: “A safe haven can be found in the hysteria of absolute truths.”
Spiritual Guidance, 2020 illustrates the recurring character of the religious Semitic man presumably wrapped in a prayer shawl, illuminated by the sun, searching for meaning in a cloud of abstract ambiguity. Contemplation shrouded in anxiety. Three Messengers, 2020 shows three religious leaders that appear to be graffiti, a visual talisman to the casual passerby. Like ancient prophets speaking to an audience of non-believers. Yehezkelli Writes: “We’ll hear the bubble pop but it will be a heroic pop. Truths will rise up as well, so it is easy to confuse them with the ashes. We can overlook both, actually.”
In I Shall Be Free II, 2020 the subject appears like a hermit, unkempt and newly released unto the world; a stranger searching for truth- like the artist. Shai Yehehzkelli brings a refreshing a depiction of life on the edge-without apology, but always with humility.
About Shai Yehezkelli
Shai Yehezkelli was born in Israel, and earned his BFA Degree with Highest Honor (”Summa Cum Laude”) from Bezalel Academy of Art and Design Jerusalem (2006), and his MFA from the Bezalel Academy, Tel Aviv (2010).
He was awarded The Rappaport award for a young artist (2015), the “Bank Leumi Prize for Outstanding Academic Achievements” and the “Arieli” prize in 2006 and received a grant from The Israeli lottery Culture-Council in 2014. Yehezkelli has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Denmark, and Israel.