Reasonable portraits of masculinity win main artwork prize for lawyer-turned-artist


Yisrael Dror Hemed, winner of the Haim Shiff Prize for Figurative Realist Artwork for 2020, didn’t got down to turn into an artist. In actual fact, he first studied regulation.

“It took me some time to know that that is one thing I need to dedicate my entire life to, to actually dedicate my days and nights to it,” mentioned Hemed, whose prize consists of a $10,000 grant to the artist, and a solo exhibition on the Tel Aviv Museum of Artwork, accompanied by a catalog. “I step by step understood that it’s about dedication, and making the choice that it doesn’t matter what, that is the essential factor.”

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The prize was created in 2008 by Dov Shiff, son of Haim Shiff, a hotelier and famous collector of Israeli artwork who supported many younger and unknown artists. Hemed was one among greater than 80 artists competing for the award.

His works are by and huge — though not completely — classically rooted, sensible work of males, in varied phases of life and conditions.

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‘Docs 2017’ by Yisrael Dror Hemed (Courtesy Tel Aviv Museum of Artwork)

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“That is what engages me,” mentioned Hemed. “Manhood and the myriad potentialities of masculinity, as a result of I examine myself and I additionally take a look at others and I attempt to present in my work that many potentialities can be found.”

Hemed is homosexual, and whereas males and masculinity are a private, intimate topic for him, lots of the males portrayed in his works will not be individuals he is aware of.

They’re typically strangers he passes on the road, reflecting Hemed’s personal day-to-day life.

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“They’re passersby and I ask them to pose for a short while as a result of I’m depending on the lighting and the background that exists there,” mentioned Hemed, who captures the mannequin and the second on digicam, earlier than heading again to his studio to color it in a while. “I can’t check their endurance an excessive amount of.”

‘Hug 2019’ by Yisrael Dror Hemed (Courtesy Tel Aviv Museum of Artwork)

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These are the pictures that viewers see in Hemed’s portraits: two medical doctors sitting on a curb (one with a masks, however the portray is from 2017); a bunch of younger guys at a museum, caught to their telephones; a father holding his daughter.

“I attempt to paint all the pieces I see, no matter grabs my eye,” he mentioned. “I’m excited in entrance of many issues I see in human nature and whereas I do know it’s already been painted, with topics like that, it’s not precisely what I’d have performed or mentioned or described.”

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There’s additionally the vulnerability that’s inherent in his work, notably with regard to social points such because the MeToo motion in opposition to sexual harassment and the newer Black Lives Matter protests.

“These points are at the back of my thoughts always,” mentioned Hemed., including that he pushes for liberalism and acceptance from his topics.

It’s been tougher to search out topics of late because of the coronavirus. Hemed doesn’t need to seize photographs of individuals carrying masks as a result of it creates a portrait that lacks what attracts him most, which is individuals’s expressions.

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‘Milk 2020’ by Yisrael Dror Hemed (Courtesy Tel Aviv Museum of Artwork)

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“I take myself because the mannequin as a result of I’m the one one who is offered, or pals, however not fairly often,” he mentioned. “I’ve to do what many different painters have performed earlier than.”

Hemed had no formal artwork coaching, aside from three years of intensive portray research with artist Maya Cohen Levy that he launched into 13 years in the past. Earlier than that, he was a practising lawyer with a bachelor’s and grasp’s diploma in regulation from Tel Aviv College.

Drawing was all the time part of his life, “my mother and father put paper and pencil in my hand,” mentioned Hemed.

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He started working with oils on his personal when he was 13, and largely drew objects, earlier than recruiting pals or neighbors to pose for him.

Yisrael Dror Hemed, winner of the Haim Shiff Prize for Figurative Realist Artwork for 2020 (Recent Paint)

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Hemed practiced regulation for some time, and when he started studying with Cohen Levy, he found that a minimum of 4 nice painters — Wassily Kandinsky, Henri Matisse, Paul Cezanne and Gustave Caillebotte — all studied regulation earlier than dedicating themselves solely to artwork.

“It was an actual consolation for me to search out out about this sample between two completely various things that don’t have anything in frequent,” mentioned Hemed. “I feel it’s about persona, how completely I’m going into what I do, to deepen my data. These are traits which might be essential in any discipline you tackle.”

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