• Seams: The wall, The body, The land, MFA Thesis - Painting and Drawing

      Ozeri, Michal (2017-05)
      The world is full of seams. Seams that split and bind our society, open and stitch up gaps between us. Borders that are transient and enduring, able to be minimized and expanded, mobile and static. They can be ripped, resewn in a new composition, and ripped yet again. Reduced in both color and shape, yet bearing texture and density: the wall, the body and the land—the black, the pink, and the white. My mind is preoccupied by the Israeli reality: living on the edge of continuous war, opposite ideologies and military culture. In my current work, I call attention to complex issues underlying the “Seamline” separation barrier, created to separate two nations in constant war. My thesis explores my interest in materiality and alchemy, history and process, color choice and use, composition, and the essential and overriding dialogue between these. To a great extent I have been intuitively practicing these elements for some time now. Yet, while researching for my thesis and discovering works of artists such as Alberto Burri (1915-1995) and Giorgio Morandi (1890-1964), I have been pulled towards articulating connections between their works and mine, highlighting certain of their practices as I sense their relationship to mine. The concrete research deriving from these artists has inspired me in my own work and process, pushing me not only to make further connections in my experience and paintings, but pushing me also to continue experimenting with the styles I have been intuitively leaning towards. My thesis argument is that art is life. I mean this in the sense that one’s life and experiences influence one’s creative journey and particular sensitivities: specific experiences shape the ways we live in this world, and therefore shape, too, the ways we create in this world. To this end, Part I of my thesis focuses on Burri and Morandi, their lives and their creative choices, highlighting the ways in which they are of direct artistic interest to me. Part II of my thesis focuses on my own work, pulling connecting threads and pushing the boundaries of those threads to their present potential.