Artist statement


"As a child, I would play on the Persian carpet in our living room. I spent my time jumping among the shapes and colors, imagining among them hidden letters and animals. I would tiptoe to avoid the imaginary snakes and carefully collect colorful gems.

To this day, fabrics, carpets, and textures captivate me. I am intrigued by patterns: the infinite ways of combining shapes and colors, the surprises and secrets that can be weaved among them. I express myself through textures and colors, and inscribe the secrets of my heart on the canvas.

I draw animals that are intertwined into the composition. I endow them with new colorful coats that introduce light and color into their monochromatic world. For me, Nature symbolizes freedom. It is pure from criticism and reproach and accepts me as I am with all my colors and shades. Nature allows me to be the forceful dog, or the delicate bird. It liberates the versatility within me.

The dynamic symbolism of Nature gives me a language for expressing myself and my experiences. When I manage to capture these precisely, the magic of artistic creation overtakes me. I am loose within the work, and encounter new unexplored fragments of my existence.

Technically, I insist to expose the base substrate in its raw form, and give it a role in the final work.  In my recent works I used wood and the backside of the canvas as part of the color palate of the painting, similar to Aboriginal painting techniques. Ancient art and Outsider art are a great source of inspiration for me. Their magic is identifiable and direct, and it moves me.

I tend to use markers in my work. For me, they naturally extend the hand that holds them and precise and meticulous lines are crucial for delivering my meanings accurately: the exact bend of the hip, the angle of the neck, and so on. These subtleties capture the perceptiveness I aim for in my works".


 Ronit Shalem