As a diaspora Jew, I live thousands of miles from the place I think of as home—Israel. I lived in Israel briefly three and a half years ago, and I paint my memories from this carefree time. As I produce aerial landscapes, I examine the North American Jewish nostalgia for an idealized Israel. And I feel as though I am bridging the gap between myself and the country.
My utopia takes shape via interruptions and insertions in the landscape. Instead of choosing a fixed viewpoint, I use different planes to manipulate perspective. Embedded in the land are distinctly Israeli landmarks, such as the Shrine of the Book and flora, like cypress and olive trees. Some of my paintings trespass into the territory of sculpture, with structures built using stretched canvases and paintings organized into different clumps storing several memories.
A central part of my working process is experimenting with paint-handling and application. I am interested in exploring the materiality of the paint and the relative weight or weightlessness of areas that make up one image. For this series, I’ve been working almost exclusively in acrylic, and I’ve tried to enliven the paint itself. In some passages, I reduce the mixture to a thin soup and let gravity produce the mark. In other works, I layer paint so often that the surface becomes relief-like.
My work is informed by Paul Noble’s aerial city drawings of the contrived Nobson Newtown and Joyce Kozloff’s cartographic work. Noble’s desaturated dystopia served as the antithesis for my color-saturated utopia,while Kozloff inspired the drawing language I use to provide structure in my paintings. At the same time, there are two other artists whose thinking has helped me to clarify my own. I recently attended a talk by New Jerseyartist Dahlia Elsayed, who spoke extensively of her nomadic existence, which filters into her paintings. Elsayed’s nomadic experience sounded similar to the experience of a Jew living in the diaspora, and this realization brought me to reunite with the writings of painter, R.B Kitaj and his First Diasporist Manifesto. I identify withKitaj—even as a second-generation Canadian, I’ve always been somewhere in-between home and homeland. My work has become utopian in response to the idea of living in multiple societies simultaneously.
2009 Honors B.A. – Studio Art, University of Guelph, Canada
2011 SVA Summer Residency – Painting and Mixed Media
Forthcoming Solo Exhibition
Archive III, Alfa Art Gallery, New Brunswick, New Jersey
Creative Dishonesty: Cheat Codes, Center for Advanced Hindsight, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina
*My Heart is Here, The Jewish Center, Princeton, New Jersey
The Double-Edged Search for Truth & the Ideal, Alfa Art Gallery, New Brunswick, New Jersey
When Did Friend Become a Verb?, La Galeria, Boricua College, New York City
ABstract EXpressions Gallery, Mount Holly, New Jersey
The Armand Gallery, Toronto, Ontario
Muse:Grey Matters, Sunnybrook Foundation, Toronto, Ontario
Sunnyside Juried Art Show, Lake Shore, Toronto, Ontario
Kleenex, The Drake Underground, Toronto, Ontario
Revelations, The Lonsdale Gallery, Toronto, Ontario
The Last Lecture, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario
22 Hue, Zavitz Gallery, Guelph, Ontario
Seeing the Land, The Kohl Gallery of Arts, Toronto, Ontario
Art of Peace, Loft Literary Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Durbach, Elaine, “Artist Lays Out Israel of the Past and Present” New Jersey Jewish News, February 14, 2011 Front page & p. 25
Center for Jewish Life, Princeton University
January 2010 — September 2010
The Koffler Gallery, Koffler Center of the Arts