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‘Auditions’ Exhibition Tel Aviv

The Union of Movies and Art

'Auditions' Exhibition Tel Aviv

“Auditions”-it’s a series of three exhibitions dedicated to the favorite movies of the artists. How did I come to such a brilliant idea for the exhibition? We gather the artists of “Art Unlimited” once every six months. But it is more of a meeting of friends in a creativity inspired atmosphere where we discuss art news, projects and future plans more than business.  

We dream more than plan because of our modest means we can do nothing but dream ( there is no government financial support and there are no philanthropists that help us).

So at the previous meeting I asked everybody, “What’s the most emotional subject for an exhibition that would attract people?” In less than 15 minutes we all came to the same conclusion – movies !!!

Everybody watches movies; it’s the most popular way to escape from reality. There was nothing more logical than to use the Cinematheque space for such an exhibition. I made a phone call to the administration and here we go….we exhibited our art three times at the venue.

The first exhibition was held in July, 2018 and it aroused great interest among the audience and press. Seven artists of multiple nationalities and countries of origin who have immigrated to Israel, and lived in different cities of our small country, participated in “Auditions no.1”.    

These contemporary Artists are the members of “Art Unlimited” charity association for art development in Israel and abroad. In their works they use different drawing techniques; however, the exposition looked harmonious as a whole. The 7 artists were: Betty Ozry, Eduard Almashe, Cochi Melamed, Racheli Marty,  Vera Zmud Vartanov, Batya Gazit, Alexander Rabaev & Ella Rozenberg.    

Yes, I decided to exhibit my works even though I was a curator. It wasn’t just an art opening, it was our recital, bringing together the magic of cinema, art, music and poetry. Strong characters from motion pictures have always interested our artists and they let their imagination take flight to create paintings for “Auditions” based on their movie experiences . Poetry for each painting was read by an Israeli author – poet Gay Regev. Also there was rock and tribal music, electric guitar, didgetidoo and drums played by musicians Ishay Montgomery & Erez, adding a festive air to our exhibition.

I was extremely nervous before the opening ceremony. It was our big debut in Tel Aviv’s landmark – Cinematheque and the future of the “Art Unlimited” depended on the success of this first exposition. Hours back and forth from the north hall to the south hall, putting the final touches on the site, noticing small gaps and fixing them made me panic and exhausted at the same time. 7 pm was the time for opening ceremony, but the public came long before, and by 6pm both halls were jammed.

There was a cosy cafe between the south and north exhibition Halls where I decided to escape from the last hectic hour.  I ordered my cup of cappuccino and took a seat at the bar, trying to relax; I closed my eyes for a minute . I had one more hour before the ceremony. Everything was almost ready. I was sitting and listening to the broken sentences, scraps of conversations. People were praising the exhibition, they were happy, and I enjoyed my minute of relaxation.

Then everything started. Gay Regev with the microphone was reading out his poetry strengthening the sensory perception of the crowd and making people look at the paintings through his words. Then there was the magic sound of the music, musicians-virtuozo, which started playing and silence spread over the venue.

Here is what Batya Gazit called her work — “The Sound of Silence” A tribute to Simon and Garfunkel’s song, which also served as a soundtrack for films. The song was translated into Hebrew by Ehud Manor.  

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“The Moonlight Sonata” by Beethoven. I remembered a wonderful movie, “August Rush”, a 2007 drama directed by Kristen Sheridan and starring Freddie Highmore, Kerry Russell and Jonathan Reese Myers.

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A tribute to a wonderful film I saw in my youth – “Red Shoes”. A British film from 1948, based in part on a legend by Hans Christian Andersen. The legend is about a girl who wanted to dance and received red magic shoes that danced themselves and kept dancing until her death.                              

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“Frida Kahlo “- a tribute to a wonderful American drama film about professional and private life of the surrealist Mexican painter Frida Kahlo (Salma Hayek).  Her physical sufferings coused by traumatic accident, an amazing talent, emotional  strengh and dysfunctional relationship with the muralist Diego Rivera (Alfred Molina) gave birth to the worlwide musterpieces of both Masters. On August 29, 2002, the film made its world premiere opening the Venice International Film Festival.  

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Vera Zmud Vartanov – Artist, an Israeli painter. I immigrated to Israel when i was a small child in the late 1970s from Kishinev that was a part of the Soviet Union by that time. The whole process of immigration , life changes, triggered me to be an artist. I remember I always was drawing something. After graduation I entered the Avni Institute of Art and Design in Tel Aviv. My teachers were Tamara Kronghaus, Einan Cohen, Uri Lifshitz. My art is influenced mainly by the immediate surroundings. I draw mainly portraits … also naturemorts in the fantasy realistic, figurative expression, emphasizing the expression of character and emotion in the facial features and body expressions of the characters. In my works I use mostly oil on large canvases . Paintings that took part in the exhibition of “audition’s -mivchanei bad ” were influenced by films or dreams about the movies. For example, the painting ‘Maria’s dream ‘was created to tell about the dream of my daughter Maria to make films and to be a film director, which she already does in the school in the communications field. In the painting “Maria’s Dream” which is also a homage to Van Gogh’s ” Stary night” and homage to Picasso’s dove of peace , that painting painted with the world turned around her finger … the cinema world and the glowing stars around.  

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The second painting was born under the influence of a Stanley Kubrick film, and it also named in the film ‘Eyes Wide Shut’. The subject of painting — rituals in high society, or mysterious cults behind the scenes of high society … The painting is about drama ,artistic nude  In black / red / gold / silver colors, influenced by the film that leaves the impression of the great Stanley Kubrick.  

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Batya  Ozeri Year of birth- 1959, Israel.   Residence – Beer Sheva  1980-1977 – Art studies at the Avni Institute for Painting and Sculpture, Tel Aviv.  1990- Israeli Art Studies, Givat Haviva Arts Center.  2008-2010 – Ceramic Sculpture Studies, School of Visual Arts, Israel  She exhibits at many exhibitions around the country and teaches art.  In my paintings I explore the human soul for its complexities: its fears, its embarrassments, her complications, her frustrations, her wickedness, her generosity, her grief and yes, her joys and happiness. But as Leo Tolstoy in “Anna Karenina” said: “All happy families are alike, yet each family is miserable, unhappy in its own way.”  The misery is much more diverse and provides us with innumerable stories as best described by the best screenwriters.  My sources of inspiration are life, other artists and films of course.  Horror movies, Holocaust movies which are by far the most awful horror movies I know, love movies and more.  Claude Lenzman’s 1985 film “Holocaust” was one of the sources of inspiration for a series of my work on the subject of the Holocaust mentally impaired, one of which, “Joseph,” was featured in the exhibition (large portrait of an older man in expressive style, Van Gogh).  Unfortunately there are anguish that is hard to endure and as a result people have broken down mentally.

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In the title “Untitled 2” (Transparent Bodies in a Circle) I tried to describe a person’s helplessness and lack of control over his own destiny, writing his place in the universe through a structured arrangement by other people, an arrangement written “from above” (by the screenwriter)  And his transparency in the eyes of the beholder who controls him and his movements.

In the painting “Untitled 3” (a woman twisted in green against an orange background), I tried to portray the horror in its embodiment, as represented in Alfred Hitzcock’s films, by distorting the human image itself.

To conclude: “Something Happy” Inspired by The Greek Zorba, a 1964 film directed by Michael Kakuyannis based on Nikos Kazanzakis’s book: “Zerley’s Portrait” pleased.

And finally my work Ella Rosenberg’s (painting) was inspired by “The Mask” 1994 – movie initially intended to be a horror adopted comic, that  then turned into a wild romantic comedy and brought box-office success, grossing $119 million domestically and over $350 million worldwide and fame to Jim Carrey and Cameron Diaz – previously a complete unknown. This superhero comedy film reveals life of Stanley Ipkiss (Carrey), an unfortunate bank clerk who finds a magical mask that transforms him into a mischievous zoot-suited gangster. This idea of a magical transformation we all are dreaming of (to be better,  stronger and more successful). 

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