He’s finished his year-long residency at Künstlerhaus Bethanian, but Tel Aviv artist Roey Heifetz isn’t going anywhere.
His draw to Berlin can be seen in his art. He put a special focus on researching artists like Otto Dix and George Grosz, who were part of the city’s critical art scene during Weimar Era decadence, exploring further the tension of the contrast between that time and the dark years that followed. In Heifetz’ own words: “On one hand, the Weimar Republic celebrated the freedom of the body, gender, sexual identity… but all of this was demolished, very fast, with the rise of the Nazis. It was almost a ‘celebration’ of death.”
Heifetz’ most current series of drawings focuses on female figures, and in particular one imaginary woman whom he found traces of all over the city, sometimes having the feeling of seeing her everywhere. This female somehow embodies what the artist was searching for over the past year in Berlin. Her penetrating gaze often seems directed straight at the viewer, acting like an ‘authority’ forcing a confrontation between the viewer and themselves and their sexual identity.
The works resonate an enigmatic fascination within the field of conflict between figuration and abstraction, uniformity and precise details. They are often given generic titles such as “The Secretary”, “The Librarian” or “The Teacher”, matching a suggested authority with the figure’s complete anonymity, which in turn opens into an intense process of deconstruction within the drawing. Yet, in the end, the act of drawing itself remains clearly more important; the story of the characters remains untold.
This month, Heifetz’ works can be seen at the Israeli Embassy’s presentation at Preview and in “Based on Paper”, a group show opening Sep 21 at Jiri Svestka Gallery.
BASED ON PAPER Sep 21-Nov 2 | Jiri Svestka, Potsdamer Str. 81c, Mitte, U-Bhf Kurfürstenstr., Tue- Sat 11-18