The Truth behind the Photo-Painting – Rachel Amir

Amir’s works are interwoven with love for the place, for the origin, for tradition and artistic creation. Her paintings draw on the need to preserve, remember, remind and interpret. Her starting point comprises different places around Israel, spots where nature meets urbanity. She immortalizes-freezes these in photographs, and later draws on ‘photo sketch’ as a source for her own art, while laying out her own interpretive world. 

In her works, Amir incorporates classical painting traditions, which uphold observation and dialogue with reality - a representation of reality, if you will - coupled with brush strokes inspired by Chinese aquarelles. They tread the seamline between faithful representation and atmosphere, which inspires discourse between rationalism and spirit, and perhaps between rationale and emotion. 

Amir’s painting work does not seek to offer a photographic truth, on the contrary. Amir seeks to take the photographic truth obtained through actual photography, then obliterate and resurrect it in her own terms. The combination of classical traditions, with their painstaking treatment of the image’s visibility and its resemblance of reality, and soft, watery, somewhat free brush strokes, represents a fascinating dialogue between boundaries and freedom. 

The same dialogue between boundaries and freedom is also suggested by the very unique choice of works where natural and urban landscapes interweave to create a new landscape, born of Amir’s personal point of view, as captured by the camera and subjected to another transformative stage, through the language of painting. The natural scenes weaving through structures in most of Amir’s works become a poignant statement. 

The painstaking painting work, which feigns casualness, becomes an object in its own rights. Its power lies in the fact that even when it doesn’t profess to imitate or replicate reality, it retains its intrinsic qualities. In other words, it is painstaking in order to be an immaculate product in itself, rather than serve any particular scene or place. This in turn attests that the reliance on photographed scenes is but a pretext for the creative journey. It points at what may be seen as a choice and direction. 

There seems to be no need on the artist’s part to celebrate her technical skill, nor is it her main concern; rather, she wishes to use these skills as a homage to her beloved natural and urban scenes, and thereby expand the apparent and familiar, by offering another glimpse. 

These works convey a sense of power, by dint of using no power at all. 

Amir juggles photographic truth and the subjective truth she offers in real time - the painting time. Her painting work is an interpretation of the apparent; she takes what her eyes perceive, through her choice of the camera, and combines it with the way in which she seeks to show it, following a process of studying, distilling, choosing and stance-taking – by applying the brush. Just a simple tale that offers the relative truth of the apparent.

Rachel Amir

Rachel Amir

Rachel Amir

Rachel Amir

Rachel Amir

Rachel Amir

Rachel Amir

Rachel Amir

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