Tel Aviv (Israele)
Human Condition 2003
Born in Poland, Jacob Porat came to Israel at the age of 14. Studied music and violin playing at "Shulamit" conservatory in Tel Aviv. Holds first degree in Hebrew Literature and Bible Studies and second degree in Comparative Literature, both from Tel-Aviv University. Studied Art, Painting and art printing in Avni institute in Tel Aviv. For many years taught literature and bible to high school students. Porat is involved in painting, literature and music, which either apart or taken together, inevitably fertilize one another. Jacob Porat is member of Israel's Painters and Sculptors Association and has a studio in Jaffa.
Jacob Porat is distinguished by his search for different, various forms of expression. The exhibitions he has held throughout the years expose the constant and changing elements of his works in all possible aspects: techniques, compositions, and themes. Although evident in his work, his literary education does not make his paintings an illustration of literary writings. Rather, it serves as the driving force of the painting, an enabler of deeper expression and intricacy of the visual statement. Poratï¿½s paintings have a life of their own, and these lives have been an integral part of his works since he has begun painting to date. His works in general, and "Conversations with Kafka" in particular, strike a correct balance between the "painting instinct", which is based on intuition and talent and the intellect that is aware of itself and of the literary interpretation of themes.
Dorit Kedar, PhD
Jacob Porat â€“ Suns, Gods and Animals
Oil and Acrylic on Paper, Tirosh Gallery, Old Jaffa
Jacob Porat is a multi-disciplinary person that amalgamates a painter, literary scholar, teacher and musician. This multiplicity is evident in his studio. His interests span over a broad sphere and the approach his takes towards his work is often associated with art history, politics and literature.
For this exhibition, I have selected paintings that are free of any immediate context. The artist connects with archetypes that are common in ancient civilizations, in the tribal existence and in the human soul, which is capable of skipping over the cultural barrier in order to land on the other side of the instincts and rowdiness inside us, where shade and light cannot be distinguished apart.
Suns: The big, hot and energetic illumination is depicted in the simplest form â€“ an elliptic circle or a round one with infantile lines for the rays. The form may be childish, but the process is one of a very mature person. The suns fill the space of the relatively tiny paper, starring exclusively in the colorfulness that converses with the background â€“ an identical motif endowed with a new meaning. The paint is thick, dense, layered, sealing, reflecting, playing inside-outside in the proximity between sun and background or in polarity infected with affinity.
Animals: Similarly to the suns, the animal series seems like a modern hieroglyph that translates long-gone sensations. Porat has chosen large, vegetarian, harmless animals such as a camel, a giraffe, or a deer. However, the graffiti, children-like riders are clutching weapons such as clubs and shield.
Similarly to the first series, the works toggle between imaginary childishness and high abstraction ability, between simple forms and sophisticated handling of the background. The style plays on unconscious contents of suns and animals that seem like an archetype of a big, generous mother combination with the terrible mother who swallows and kills. A longer observation borders on discomfort that results from the same combination of happiness and sadness, vitality and finiteness.
Gods and angels: This is a small, magnificent series of a winged, armless angel, a fertility goddess, also limbless â€“ despite the emphasis on her sexual organs, and a figure that is either hanging in the air or attempting to be carrying a large geometric shape â€“ one cannot tell.
Portraits: These too reflect the stitching together of shade and light. The Artistâ€™s daughter is painted in monastic, brown and gray pigments concurrently with warm juicy and refreshing colorfulness. A fantastic portrait of life-death mask lies next to the artistâ€™s portrait. Porat has painted himself as a Byzantine icon, with black, inspecting eyes from a side view. The dominant colors are red, pink and bottle green that contribute to the vigilance and the external restraint that conceal the emotional storm that takes place invisibly inside each one of us.
Selected One-Man Shows:
1983 - Mapu Gallery, Tel Aviv
1984 - Ein-Karem Inn, Jerusalem
1986, 88 - Hasimta, Old Jaffa
1987 - Alexander Gallery, Los Angeles
1989 - Amalia Arbel Gallery, Rishon Lezion, Israel
1990 - Hamishkan Leomanut, Holon, Israel
1992 - Amalia Arbel Gallery, Tel Aviv
1993 - Teachers Association House, Tel Aviv
1997 - Tirosh Gallery, Old Jaffa
1997 - The White Gallery, Tel Aviv
1997 - Afzender Gallery Slaphander, Rotterdam
1998 - Yefet 28 Gallery, Old Jaffa
2000 - Merkaz Hamevakrim, Mitzpe Ramon, Israel
2001 - Nora Gallery, Jerusalem
2003 - Goethe Institute, Tel Aviv
2004 - (Jan.-Feb.) - New City Hall, Prague
2004 (May) - 10th International Book Fair, Prague
2004 (August) - Liberec, Czech Republic
2004 (Sep.-Dec.) - Polna etc., Czech Republic
2005 (Jan.-Feb.) Trest, Czech Republic
2005 (May) - Krakow, Poland
2005 (May-June) - Hadera, Israel
2005 (June) - Lodz, Poland
2005 (Sep.-Oct.) - Warsaw, M. Schorr's Center, Poland
2006 (January) : Minsk Mazowiecki,Poland, January 2006
2006 (April) : Wyszkow, Poland, April 4 - May 3, 2006
2006 (Sep-October): Rishon Lezion, Israel
2007 (February): The Bible Museum, Tel-Aviv
2007 (April): Contemporary Art Museum, Hanita. Israel
Selected Group Exhibitions:
1984, 85 - Hamishkan Leomanut, Holon
1989, 91 - Eked Gallery, Tel Aviv
1993, 96 - Taller Gallery Fort, Barcelona
1996 - Yefet 28 Gallery, Old Jaffa
1996 - Municipal Gallery, Natania
1997 - Taller Gallery Fort, Barcelona
1999 - Mishkan Haomanuyot, Tel Aviv
2000 - Merkaz Omanuyot, Givat Chaviva
2002 - Omma Gallery - Hania, Crete, Greece
2002 - Hamud Alkara Gallery, Dalia Al-Carmel, Israel
2004 - The First International Art Forum, Lodz -Poland
2004 - Kastra Gall., Haiffa -Israel
2004 - Taller Gallery Fort, Barcelona
Israeli Painters & Sculptures Association
Israeli High-School Teachers Association
Jaffa, P.O.Box 27288
Prof. Nurit Govrin: Jacob Poratâ€™s Kafka
The paintings of Jacob Porat converse with Kafka [...] in a multi-layer correspondence. One layer are the paintings of Porat. The second consists of photographed sites in Prague. The third includes pen drawings made by Kafka, and the fourth depicts Kafkaesque situations taken from the works of Kafka. And the fifth layer is that of the viewer, who draws near the paintings to look and reveal the worlds hidden inside, one on top of the other, one coming out of the other. The longer one looks at the paintings, the more details are discovered and layers excavated, the complexity of the worlds depicted proliferates and deepens [...].
The tall and thin Kafkaesque figure is placed in a huge church space, hovering against colorful vitrage, always conflicting with authority: the Father-God. Yet another extension of the figure is positioned in the space inside a fence-cage, like a culprit in court. This is a conflict between Judaism and Christianity, between man and superior forces that turn a deaf ear, between man and the law enforcing authorities. This conflict is open to additional conflicts and interpretations, which the paintings offer their viewers.
The paintings are a splendid aesthetic expression of a world of nightmares, of frightful dreams becoming concrete, of the encounter between madness and nightmare and the logical, sane, and clear. They manifest exclusive ability of art to unify conflicts and contradictions, to express lunacy by aesthetic means, and to concurrently depict contradictory situations: terror and beauty, colorful loneliness, styled nightmare, terrestrial hovering, and life growing out of death.
This exhibition is yet another brick in the glorious buildings of paintings inspired by literature and juxtaposing these two realms of art. It is an interpretive, principle confrontation between the worlds of literature and painting, and between the worlds of Kafka and Jacob Porat. However, more than anything else, it is a confrontation with the world of the readers / viewers and their way of deciphering works of Kafka on the background of Prague as well as their comprehension of Kafka paintings by Jacob Porat. [From the address of Prof. Nurit Govrin
, Tel Aviv University]
venerd́ 23 Novembre 2007