Avigdor Arikha - Living, Growing, Inanimate
Avigdor Arikha was a painter and illustrator who passed away in 2010. He was born in Germany and lived alternately in Israel and France. Arikha painted in a particularly sensitive realistic style. His paintings are special in his personal, unmistakable handprint. In a film once shot about the painter and his life, he was documented sitting and painting in oil paints. The artist, who is perceived as belonging to a classical school in his style, surprises and paints directly on the exposed, white canvas, without special preparations or a base layer. In an almost dry color, he vibrates his brush nervously on the canvas, looking at the figure sitting in front of him. The portrait is woven out of nowhere into a compelling and vibrant abundance.
Arikha talks in the film about the value of painting in "one sitting", that is, working in succession on a complete painting, within a few hours and without pauses until its perfect completion. According to him, such work creates a uniform and complete look for the work.
This method is not simple and very different from traditional work done in layers, which dries slowly over days and needs to dry between different painting stages.
Arikha has many portraits and many still life oaintings, also in the same unique method, which does not differentiate between a living, vegetative and still life object. Everyone receives the same meticulous and sensitive treatment: in color, in lines, in the composition, documenting the shadow that falls around - sometimes a photographic feeling.
Self-portrait, bread and pepper, each individually a subject for a complete painting, saturated with character and personality.
Sometimes it seems that an umbrella is actually a self-portrait...