Photo credit: Enrico Pescantini and Maria Giovanna Callea
Thousands of images from the works of Dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh have gone on display in Tel Aviv, as a traveling multimedia art exhibition kicked off the Israeli phase of a world tour.
The show features 40-high definition screens and replications of practically all the masterpieces of Van Gogh, the 19thcentury post-impressionist.
Organizers said the exhibition was designed to grow new audiences for one of the world’s most respected painters.
The exhibition features thousands of 360-degree lifelike images of Van Gogh’s works. Fully-synchronized background music enhances the visitor’s experience.
Van Gogh is particularly respected in his home country Holland for his works’ emotional honesty and bold color. A fellow Dutchman said the exhibition was a great way to make Van Gogh, one of the most influential painters of the last two centuries, more accessible to the general public.
Visitors at the exhibition are surrounded by moving 360-degree views of Van Gogh’s colorful works, including his own portraits and diary entries.
More than 3,000 images fill giant screens, walls, columns, ceilings and even the floor to immerse the visitor in color and detail. One art-lover said the vivid details and increased scale of the exhibit gave a special outlook on Van Gogh’s unique style.
“Van Gogh Alive” was created in Australia. The interactive installation has already toured Turkey, Singapore and the United States, and will be on display at the Israel Trade Fairs and Convention Center in Tel Aviv until March 3.
Israel is known for many things — a complex history and its religious pilgrimage sites for starters.
But here’s something you probably don’t know: with more than 200 museums, it also has the highest number of museums per capita in the world.
Your cultural education starts here. Just be careful to note somewhat eccentric opening hours.
The Israel Museum is the largest cultural institution in the country.
Recently renovated and reorganized, its major feature is the Shrine of the Book, a massive domed structure built as a showcase for the Dead Sea Scrolls and other ancient manuscripts.
Admission 50 shekels (US$13) for adults, 37 shekels for students, 25 shekels for children and seniors.
11 Ruppin Blvd., Jerusalem; +972 2 670 8811; open Sunday-Thursday 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Tuesday 4-9 p.m., Friday 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; www.imjnet.org.il
A topic of conversation among Tel Avivians is still the new wing of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, which opened in 2011.
Many adore it, others hate it — both sides are passionate about their opinion.
A visit to the museum — founded in 1932 it’s one of Israel’s leading art and culture institutions — should start with the new wing and end in the older complex. This circuit takes in a complete tour of the museum’s many displays of art, architecture and design.
Admission 48 shekels (US$12.50) for adults, 38 shekels for students, 24 shekels for seniors, free for children.
27 Shaul Hamelech Blvd., Tel Aviv; +972 3 607 7020; open Monday and Wednesday 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday 10 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-4 pm, closed on Sunday; www.tamuseum.com
The Museum of Art, Ein Harod was established in the 1930s in a temporary wooden stucture in a kibbutz (collective community).
In 1948, it moved into a permanent building to become Israel’s first museum.
The structure is a fine example of Israeli Modernism, heralded for its beauty and simplicity.
The museum highlights Israeli art and has amassed more than 16,000 permanent pieces since opening.
Admission 26 shekels (US$6.80) for adults, 13 shekels for students, seniors and children.
Kibbutz Ein Harod; +972 4 648 5701; open Sunday-Thursday 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Friday 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-4:30 pm.; www.museumeinharod.org.il
It’s a challenge to draw Tel Avivians out of Tel Aviv, but the Design Museum — located in Holon, a 20-minute drive from Tel Aviv — seems to have the secret.
This is a bustling museum that constantly hosts industrial, fashion, textile and jewelry design weeks, exhibitions and events.
Designed by London-based Israeli architect and designer Ron Arad, the building itself is considered a work of art, with its flowing steel strips painted in various shades of red.
Admission 35 shekels (US$9) for adults, 30 shekels for youth (ages 11-17), students and seniors, 20 shekels for children (ages 5-10).
8 Pinhas Eilon St., Holon; +972 73 215 1515; open Monday and Wednesday 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday 10 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; www.dmh.org.il
A tour of Jerusalem is inconceivable without a visit to Yad Veshem, the Holocaust Museum, which commemorates the millions of Jews who perished as a result of Nazi persecution in World War II.
The 45,000-square-foot museum attracts more than a million visitors a year from all over the world.
It’s also the site where many formal diplomatic visits to Israel begin, most of which are then publicized with a photo in major newspapers the following day.
The main building is a concrete triangle chiseled into the side of a mountain.
Once inside, visitors follow a route taking in multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary presentations that document what the museum calls “the story of the Shoah from a unique Jewish perspective, emphasizing the experiences of the individual victims through original artifacts, survivor testimonies and personal possessions.”
It’s a singularly moving experience.
Admission to Yad Vashem is free.
Har Hazikaron, Jerusalem; +972 2 644 3802; open Sunday–Wednesday 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Thursday 9 a.m.-8 p.m., Friday 9 a.m.-2 p.m., closed on Saturday; www.yadvashem.org
Who is Niro ? What would you want people to know about you
SuperN!RO is the next worldwide pop sensation. He is a singer/song writer, dancer/actor from Israel who desires to use pop music to spread the message of peace. SuperN!RO has a genuine compassion for others and wants to make a lasting difference in the world.
Who is Khaled ? What would you want people to know about you
Khaled is a groundbreaking Palestinian artist whose unique brand of Alternative World Fusion music combines hard rock, Spanish style guitar and Middle Eastern music elements into one explosive listening experience. Through his creative process, he aims to innovate song writing and guitar playing like never before. He enjoys cooking and eating, wining and dining over good conversation. Two things to live by, “Listen,” and “We’re all in this together.”
Who is Darling? What would you want people to know about you
I am, as N!RO calls me, a CRAZY lady! And he’s right. I am creating a future for myself that will take me all over the world. I will continue to build and direct One Passion and also create some adventures of my own. I plan to stay very involved in the World Peace movement, especially in the Middle East. I have fallen in LOVE with the Israeli and Palestinian people and it is on my heart to make a difference in this conflict.
Who are your musical inspirations ?
N!RO: Alanis Morissette, Robbie Williams, David Guetta, Lady GaGa, The Beatles, Soundtrack for Wicked, and other music by Stephen Schwartz, Israeli music. Keane, Madonna, John Mayer, Back Street Boys, and more.
Khaled: Tool, Led Zepplin, Rage Against the Machine, Paco De Lucia, System of a Down, Mars Volta, The Doors, Gypsy Kings, Fareed al Atrash and many more.
How did you guys meet?
N!RO: In NYC. We were in the same group in a Landmark Education personal development program.
Khaled: We met in NYC.
Was it love at first site?
N!RO: Um…same as Khaled…hair at first sight!
Khaled: It was hair at first sight.
Tell us about One Passion?
N!RO: Most of what I would say is the same as what Darling shared so I don’t need to repeat any of that. Young people today are all about music, freedom, peace, and love. One Passion-The Project knows this and plans to reach out to young people with these messages in the language they know best…music. 1P is more than our campaign on Indiegogo…but this campaign is where it all begins. One Passion starts here…with our social network and an amazing music video and then keeps expanding from there.
Khaled: One passion is the idea that life, peace and love are a shared passion in the world. The project is a web platform for people from around the world in conflict to come together, share, collaborate and produce great art.
Darling: Well, you’ve seen the video and know that the project was created out of growing relationship between the guys. N!RO is actually the creator, and Khaled loved the idea and it began that way. I entered the scene about 2 months later. It began with the original idea of creating a social network for young artists from conflict areas to meet and work on music projects together…and also to create our own music video to serve as an example of peaceful collaboration and to drive traffic to the social network. The vision just kept expanding and now, our vision is to use music, especially pop music to reach the young pop culture with the message that they can be the ones to turn it all around and create something new. We want to target young people because they are still deciding where they stand…they can still be persuaded to choose the way of peace. We want to target the pop culture because it is all over the world…and has a lot of influence in society, especially in the arts and entertainment industry. We want to make World Peace the next really cool social trend…like Lady GaGa with her Anti-Bullying campaign. She used her fans (monsters) to strengthen and spread her campaign. We have a similar vision…but for World Peace. And…since the guys are from the Middle East themselves…I think this is a very POWERFUL message for them to share with the world.
Was it something you always wanted to do, or recently felt a need ?
N!RO: I’ve always felt a need to do pop music, to be a pop sensation. It wasn’t until recently, after meeting Khaled, a Palestinian, someone who was supposed to be my enemy, and taking time to get to know him and noticing how cool he was, that I realized that he wasn’t my enemy, but he was my friend. That’s when the need for me to make a difference in the conflict between our people began to grow.
Darling: Actually, I got involved in May of 2012 when N!RO asked me to be the Leader of this project. There was a need for someone with administrative/leadership skills to get the project organized. When he first told me about it a month before, it made me cry I was so moved. I was inspired with my Israeli friend’s desire to reach out to both Israelis and Palestinians, especially young people from those cultures, and empower and inspire them to be the generation to create a new beginning of peace. When he asked if I’d lead the project…I said, YEEEES! I am a strong stand for peace…peace within ourselves…and peace with others. This is what I plan to invest the rest of my life doing…spreading peace.
Who are the key players involved in the project ?
N!RO: All the people the others already mentioned.
Khaled: Nir, Darling, Khaled, Amir, Jon, Lary
Darling: Nir, Khaled, Lary, and myself, mostly. We do have 2 other team members Amir, and Jon in London that have smaller roles and have been with us almost since the beginning. Some of they will help us with is waiting on funding. All of these guys are THE REAL DEAL and I am fortunate to get to work with such amazing and extraordinary young men. And, they are a lot of fun, too!
What do you hope to accomplish?
M!RO: For this campaign I hope to accomplish: Hundreds of thousands of followers and views on our videos, to enroll a few huge music producers to produce the One Passion song with us, to connect with a successful producer to produce the music video.
Khaled: Justice and peace for all.
Darling: I want to see One Passion-The Project take off. I want to see lots of people getting infected with the 1P virus! I’d like for us to raise the finds we need make the video and get our social network ready to go public. I’d also like to make some REALLY good connections with other key people in the peace movement and music industry.
Will your collaboration be purely A-political? Do you guys talk about politics?
N!RO: No. The focus of 1P is on what we will unite people, and to have fun, celebrate youth, peace, freedom, culture, and sex.
Darling: While we may address the political arena here and there, that is not the focus of One Passion. Our focus is on creating unity and bridges of peace. Politics tends to cause division. People have many different viewpoints and most people are pretty passionate about their political views. If we want to promote peace and unity…we must remain neutral and welcome all people no matter where they stand on the issues of the day.
In the words of Shakespeare “If Music be the food of Love, play on” do you believe that to be true ?
N!RO: For sure!
Darling: I LOVE Shakespeare and am delighted to see a quote from him. YES!! Music is pure magic to me. It can touch, inspire, stimulate, motivate, encourage, sustain, and awaken me. It is a powerful means of self –expression that speaks to my heart. Play on, I say!
When is comes to peace, Does Size Matter ? (You’ll have to be creative with this one J)
N!RO: Size matters. It’s really both. It doesn’t matter because peace starts inside each of us, so it’s small because it’s just with us, and then it grows and becomes many people, the power of community and then size does matter, it can really make a difference.
Khaled: Power comes in numbers. So yes. Not only must we spread the message of peace, we must also take meaningful action towards what is just and is for the greatest good of us all.
Darling: There are so many directions I could go with this! On the one hand, you could say more/bigger is better. More people working for peace, more money to fund peace efforts, more people forgiving each other, more people in high government positions working to end conflict among nations, etc. Then, there’s the other hand, there is less/smaller. Less hate, less prejudice, less blaming each other, less thinking of ourselves, etc. But, you also have those inspiring stories of HUGE things being accomplished by a SMALL number of people…which flies in the face of “bigger is better”. In the words of Margaret Mead : “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” It is the latter of all of these that inspires me the most…the idea that just a handful of people, like we are now with 1P, can and ARE making a difference that is RIGHT NOW being felt by the world. I KNOW this to be true. I am living it right now!
A little girl radiant with wonder in a star-studded dress, sitting under a smiling moon against a background of midnight blue. The thin, familiar binding of “Hannaleh’s Sabbath Dress” is part of the repertoire of childhood books of anyone who grew up or raised children here.
The book by Itzhak Schweiger-Dmi’el tells about a little girl who helps an old man who asks her to lift his bag of coals. The girl is wearing a pretty Sabbath dress, which gets soiled by the coals. But the moon shines some of its light on her and her dress glitters with stars. Today it is probably read to children accompanied by a warning. They are sworn not to respond to the requests of strangers and certainly not to follow them. But this little book retains its power. It turns out that it’s still a hit ? the most widely sold book of the veteran Ofer Publishing House, from its publication in the 1960s until today.
The secret of its attraction is undoubtedly its illustrations, especially the girl in the glittering dress that is etched in our collective memory. What 4-year-old girl can resist her? And who doesn’t also remember the grandfather with the bag of coals that the girl helps him hold? Mainly we recall the innocence of the illustrations. A vestige of a period that no longer exists. It’s possible that the children weren’t innocent at all, and that the period was not easy either, but that’s how they were portrayed in the little books and preserved in our memory.
In the Illustration Library in the Youth Wing of the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, a moving exhibition has been mounted in tribute to the then-anonymous illustrator of “Hannaleh’s Sabbath Dress” and many other books published by the veteran Ofer Library. At the exhibition, titled “Days of Innocence,” the original illustrations of the artist, who was the publishing house’s illustrator, will be on display.
Her name – Eva Itzkowitz – never appeared on the covers of the books she illustrated. According to Ofer publisher Shlomo Aluf, who is in close contact with Itzkowitz to this day, that was her choice, because of her modesty. Itzkowitz is now over 90 years old, and there is justice in the fact that she is receiving this overdue recognition during her lifetime.
In her time, and afterward as well, Itzkowitz’s illustrations were not considered especially artistic. They were seen as overly realistic, saccharine, unsophisticated.
Not something to make a fuss over. They suited the books, which were the bread and butter of the children’s library in kindergartens and were not considered treasures of children’s literature. But now, at the exhibition, one can see the beauty and skill of the line and the use of color. These are very beautiful drawings. The charm that is revealed in a reexamination of the illustrations is partly because of the way they represent the spirit of the times. These illustrations also have a sense of retro, like the old American and European posters and advertisements from the 1950s, which display idyllic pictures of family life. This idyll is somewhat heartbreaking. And also somewhat disturbing, especially when, in the spirit of the pre-feminist period, the mothers are usually in the kitchen and the men are working or are brave soldiers.
In one of the books (“My Daddy,” by Yemima Sharon), you see in the distance the edge of a house with a red roof, a man who is a double of Don Draper from “Mad Men” sitting on a lounge chair in the garden, a blond boy playing at his feet. In “Daddy is a Brave Soldier,” the same Draper double is seen in an army uniform. In “My Mommy,” also by Yemima Sharon, the mother is seen in a pretty 1950s-style dress with an apron over it. She is cooking and baking cookies and also scolding a child, and he looks scared and chastened – a domestic scene that has been censored from contemporary children’s books.
Orna Granot, curator of the exhibition and director of the Illustration Library, says that the interesting aspect of the illustrations is their directness, simplicity and clarity.
They characterize books that were meant for pre-schoolers and presented simple pictures of everyday life. For example, the book “The Stalwart Clock” portrays the routine of a brother and sister from morning to evening.
These books want to paint a protected, flawless world. “There’s a degree of prettifying the reality in the books,” says Granot. “It’s similar to the Golden Books, sweet and idyllic books from the 1940s and 1950s, or Walt Disney in his early films, in which they try to create a sweet and innocent image that is etched in the memory. Supposedly simple. The background is not crowded, there are no complex compositions. It’s very different from today’s approach in children’s literature.”
Who is Ronen Goldman ? What would you want people to know about yourself ?
I am Ronen Goldman. I am a conceptual Artist and photographer from Tel Aviv. I started out as a scriptwriter before I found myself in the world of photography.
What does Art mean to you ?
I use art to express abstract ideas. I love photography and image making for their ability to get through to people without saying a word. I think art is simply a way for all of us to show each other something new about the world, from our very subjective perspective.
Has being Israeli influenced your art ?
I’m sure being Israeli has influenced my art in some way but I haven’t really figured out how. My work is not political at all(unless you somehow read into it and find out that it is), I create art from a human perspective- regardless of nationality. But living here in Israel affects everyone, including myself.
You specialize in the creation of “Photo-dreams”, how do you make it happen ?
Most of my photographs start with a dream, or part of a dream that I remember. I do this by writing down different elements from dreams as soon as I wake up. Sometimes they are just abstract feelings while other times, it’s actual elements. I then try and figure out what the overall atmosphere of the dream was, and why it had so much effect on me. I try and conjure up an image that corresponds with that dream and create the scene in my mind. Once that whole process is done, I switch on the photographer brain and start to try and figure out how I could technically execute the idea. I gather the elements, the people, scout locations then research the lighting (…different hours of the day). Once I have all the info I need, I set a date, and make it happen. I then go into post production, until I am happy with the result. The process can take months, which is the reason I’ve only produced 20 images over the span of six years. Nowadays the whole process is much quicker.
Who are some of the artists that have influenced you?
I am influenced by painters, photographers and musicians. If I had to name a few, I’d say… Girgio De Chirico, Rene Magritte, Dali, Tanguy, Ansel Adams, Gregory Crewdson.
You were recently featured on CNN, how does that feel ?
Being featured on CNN hasn’t really sunken in yet. After seeing it on the front page of CNN International, A good friend of mine said to me “well, seems your the most interesting thing at the moment as decided by the people who get to decide what the most interesting thing in the world is.” To know that so many people were exposed to a project that I’ve been working on so hard for the past 6 years is AMAZING!
You’ve exhibited your art in many places around the world, including Brussels, London, Germany and Spain, any favorites ? As an Israeli, how are you received internationally ?
All those places were great, but Spain was amazing, something about the culture and people there really got to me. People seem to like my work. I don’t think that being an Israeli made any difference at all. We all dream. even if we were born in space.
And of course, does Size Matter ?
I’ve heard people say “it’s what you do with it”, In my line of work it’s like when people say to me ”Wow! those are great photos your camera must be great” I tell them ”Thank you, your mouth says the nicest things”.