Artist talk with Amit Kanfi

'I WAS NEVER HERE', 2021

Concrete 

42x71x3cm

Tell us about yourself. 

 

I’m 26 years old, born in Tel Aviv, grew up in Tel Aviv, Istanbul and Amsterdam. I’m mainly a painter but recently I started to explore ready made installations and sculpturing. Besides creating art, I’m a techno DJ and I like surfing and playing ball sports. Especially tennis and basketball, but it changes.

 

Where did your passion for art begin?

 

My mom is an art teacher, so growing up I’ve always had the artistic atmosphere in my home, although I really started focusing on art and creating on a daily basis after I fought in a war in 2014. I was only 19, and was forced to join the army a year before that. it is mandatory for every 18 year old in Israel to recruit. 

Dealing with PTSD, I found painting to be a very therapeutic practice for me. I remember sitting there as a soldier, sketching in my notebook for hours every day.

'HIGH AND LOW', 2021

Acrylic, gel and spray on canvas

80x80cm

IMG_0390.heic

'NO MORE DRUGS', 2021

Acrylic, gel and spray on canvas 

94x120cm

How would you describe your work to someone?

 

I’ll start off with saying they’re NOT expressionstic. I feel like that word has lost its meaning recently.

I’d say my work is kind of rude. It feels like I don’t seem to take sensitive subjects into consideration when I’m in front of a canvas. But that’s probably what I connect to- being free and letting it out. My works are sometimes harsh with screaming colors and primitive strokes, and at times they’re soothing and contain more “pleasant” palettes. What matters to me is that the works “pinch” me in the feels, and hopefully that they have that effect on the viewer.

 

What are you currently working on?

 

I just finished my first solo show which included almost only works with texts. So I’m now getting back to painting a bit more figurative. I’m working on a series of works called “Swan song”. Hopefully it will include some swans. 

IMG_7648.jpg

'SHE', 2021

Acrylic, gel and spray on canvas

80x109cm

When you start a new work or project, do you plan what you’re going to create or do you improvise? 

 

I think I'm in the middle between planning and improvising. I always think of the concept, whether it's a text or some figure, but once I start working it always becomes intuitive and takes its own direction. 

Can you highlight some of your influences and discuss how your influences have made an impact on you and your practice?

 

I’m highly influenced by Dave Chappelle. I admire his way of controversially self expressing and reaching the audience, whether it’s by being vulgar or even being offensive and raising people’s eyebrows. Sometimes to the extent where people don’t understand him and think he’s intolerant or whatever.  At the end of the day, you know that the guy is a very intelligent, very open minded, bright and liberal human being. True inspiration of mine. 

 

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'Relationship GOALS', 2021

Acrylic, gel and spray on canvas 

172x153cm

What are your plans for the remainder of this year?

 

I plan to keep on rockin in the free world, that’s right baby baby. YEEHAW