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Mellow Pop
By Rachel Verliebter
The Lexus Gallery is located on the ground floor of the car showroom in a building that has been abandoned for twenty years. During this time it served as a shelter for the homeless, as it became the heart of Tel-Aviv’s graffiti scene. The heroine of the present exhibition is Alice in Wonderland, a character allowing Bezalel to express her reflections and solitude. In these paintings the artist actually says farewell to Alice, as she no longer merges with what used to be her self-portrait: Alices appear in the form of ghosts transcribing memory. Now they are coming back to life. By means of photography techniques the trace of a foreign hand is visualized: For the first time the artist bases her works on photography, as it emerges unintentionally amidst the drawing, while resisting it at the same time. Along the same line as the graffiti paintings that were made by strangers who squatted the abandoned building that used to house a bank, the building itself bears the mark of a foreign hand.
The drawings emerged from a desire to break free. Capturing the fleeting, random, moment, the technique of spray painting allowed a different physical experience than the Sisyphean task of academic drawing that the artist is used to. Hereby a sharp shift occurs from drawing to spraying that seals the painting onto paper and wall. All the stages of the creative process include painting and drawing, whereby the actual Sisyphean task consists in the preparation the stencil.
The exhibition is a kind of sketch – étude – on the inner scream that wants to burst out. This outburst resounds through the Pop tunes reverberating across the hall: Besides all the biblical contents that I address in my work, there’s a vast field of Pop, music, romantic comedies and songs by the beach boys and Mariah Carey. I would like to connect an artificial tube to my heart in whose blue labyrinth I am walking in order to be able to say ‘I understand’.
In search for a mother, the girl featuring in the drawings insists on finding her own mother. The motivation to use graffiti was inspired by vibrant street life that stands in sharp contrast to the rather sterile exhibition space. Graffiti art conveys the actual movement in all its corporeal nuances in real time. There is no time to think in the midst of action.Taking a stroll where no mind gaps are filling up with thoughts is how the artist blocked longing. Echoing “Mellow Pop” songs, the yearning expressed in the wall paintings is a soft one, vacating the space for a feeling of bearable lightness. The mountainous landscapes shown in the drawings ́ foreground describe the artist’s journey to a resting place where dreams are allowed. As opposed to the laborious task of drawing, the climbing of the mountains appearing in this exhibition comes to a halt at this point. Sisyphus whose work is never ending finds a dwelling place in the mountain.
20 alfassi street ⎢tel aviv ⎥ israel