Prominent Israeli artist scoping the international scene – JOL

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After taking on the major galleries of south Tel Aviv, Tal Eshed is storming New York.
Dec 27, 2014, 04:15PM | Shahar Golan Sarig | Jerusalem Online

Trying to retrieve the motive as to why an Israeli artist would want to try and break the boundaries of the local art world sounds conspicuously easy. However, it enfolds various factors that can often include inner tensions and conflicts between a local identity and an international nonspecific identity, between commercial success and a perception of the artist as a person who engulfs his or her countries values and serves as a sort of cultural ambassador.

In recent years it seems it has become more common for Israeli artists to peruse an international career as it became more common for Israeli artists to study abroad. This of course is a rough generalization that includes more complex shifts and turns, but to cut a very long story short, the point is that some artists deal with international themes at face value and that with these artists there is no question about the potential success or the validation of the travelling identity because of the universal themes they deal with.

In this case, Tal Eshed sets a perfect example as an artist who deals with issues that transcend a specific time and place, or as she states, her intention is ‘to use a language to which every human being can connect to wherever the person encounters art’. This form of universal visual language is well crafted by Eshed, as her artistic language can appeal to people who are outside of the ‘art cycle’ both in New York and Tel Aviv.

For this ambitious and complex exhibition, Eshed has created a complementary series of video works and video integrated sculptural objects, which explore the duality between the physical and spiritual realms. The selection of works considers notions of existence, perception, separation and unity, death and regeneration— themes that pervade much of her work—raising philosophical and existential questions. Navigating the concept of rebirth through an esoteric lens, Eshed brings forth aspects of the unknown, the bewildering, the invisible.

Eshed, born in 1976, received her BFA from the Bezalel academy of fine arts in Jerusalem and earned her MA in Expressive Art Therapy from the Israeli extension of Lesley University before her current studies in the School of visual arts in NYC. She is a multidisciplinary artist that utilizes Photography, Video art, installations as well as making hauntingly beautiful sound and light objects. She is best known in Israel for her ability to translate profound philosophical issues into imagery that is highly commutative without being explicit, while maintaining an enigmatic aura.

Dealing with these themes gives her a head start in a relatively new reality, one where Israeli artists migrate and leave their mark internationally, while maintaining both identities without having to either blur or pick one or the other.

Her solo exhibition Fragile is curated by Mitra Khorasheh, and is about to open at the Klemens Gasser & Tanja Grunert Gallery, New York City in January 11, 2015.

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