Artist talk with 
Shachaf Levy

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'Canoe', 2021

Mixed media on canvas

210X130 cm

Tell us about yourself.

Hello! My name is Shachaf Levy. I'm 31 years old, living and working in Tel aviv. I'm in the final year of the MFA program of the Bezalel Academy of Art And Design. I mostly paint and as a hobby I make homemade music instruments.

 

Where did your passion for art begin?

I grew up in a small ecological village with solar electricity, so my tv and computer time was limited. I had to keep myself busy.throughout my childhood I would come home from school everyday and take a handful of printer paper and fill them with drawings. Once I was done I would throw them into the recycling bin. I was not thinking about the final result, I was just enjoying the process. When I got to high school I had a really supportive teacher  who encouraged me to develop my art and made me believe pursuing a career in the arts is possible for me.  

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How would you describe your work to someone?

I paint with airbrush and oil glazing, combining  traditional knowledge with modern possibilities. I work from my imagination, trying to recompose reality into visual stories. 

'selfie', 2021

Mixed media on canvas

120X80 cm

What are you currently working on? 

I just finished a series of paintings for my first solo show. I painted mythological themes for a long time and I started to feel stuck. Two months before the exhibition I got covid and I had to be isolated for two weeks. I started thinking about vacation, specifically about vacation in israel. So instead of resting I spent the whole two weeks sketching this idea of  vacation. Working on this series made me realise that artists can make the everyday into myths and as my teacher put it “were creating mythology in real time”. 

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'Peugeot 205', 2021

Mixed media on canvas

210X130 cm

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

In  the way I paint right now I make stencils first, so there is a lot of preparation. I basically plan the whole composition and all the details are improvised. So I would say it's fifty fifty. I used to be 90% intuitive but I feel that the planning gives me more confidence with my improvisation because the bigger picture is already there. 

 

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

 

My influences come from all sorts of places. Comic book artists such as Jack kirbi and Jim lee. 90s video games and Old movies. I also look at other artists such as Goya, Philip Guston, martin kippenberger,  Nicole eizenman, Garrison perry, Louis Fratino, salman toor and much more. There's a dutch printmaker from the 16th century that I really like named Hendrick Goltzius. I feel a  connection to the way he depicts bodys. 

What are your plans for the remainder of this year?

This year I'm mostly focused on my graduation show of the MFA program. I would also like to start a comic strip online, and hopefully learn to play the guitar. Next year I hope to travel and participate in residency programs across the world.

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'Game of thrones', 2021

Mixed media on canvas

210X130 cm