ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 148

search
Premier colors

Artist connects the dots for a new look at Israel’s leaders

Exhibit of 12 neo-pointillist portraits of prime ministers offers fresh perspectives for Israel’s 75th, at Jerusalem Biennale Gallery in old Shaare Zedek building

Jessica Steinberg, The Times of Israel's culture and lifestyles editor, covers the Sabra scene from south to north and back to the center

  • Shimon Peres, Israel's prime minister from 1984-1986, 1995-1996, as envisioned in Gavin Rain's artwork, part of the Prime Ministers in Perspective exhibit at Jerusalem's Biennale Gallery, April 23, 2023 through May 7, 2023 (Courtesy Clive Hassel/Reproduction of Artists Works for Brandsmiths and Myron Zeidel)
    Shimon Peres, Israel's prime minister from 1984-1986, 1995-1996, as envisioned in Gavin Rain's artwork, part of the Prime Ministers in Perspective exhibit at Jerusalem's Biennale Gallery, April 23, 2023 through May 7, 2023 (Courtesy Clive Hassel/Reproduction of Artists Works for Brandsmiths and Myron Zeidel)
  • Golda Meir, Israel's prime minister from 1983-1984, 1969-1974, as envisioned in Gavin Rain's artwork, part of the Prime Ministers in Perspective exhibit at Jerusalem's Biennale Gallery, April 23, 2023 through May 7, 2023. (Courtesy, Clive Hassel/Reproduction of Artists Works for Brandsmiths and Myron Zeidel)
    Golda Meir, Israel's prime minister from 1983-1984, 1969-1974, as envisioned in Gavin Rain's artwork, part of the Prime Ministers in Perspective exhibit at Jerusalem's Biennale Gallery, April 23, 2023 through May 7, 2023. (Courtesy, Clive Hassel/Reproduction of Artists Works for Brandsmiths and Myron Zeidel)
  • A closeup of the multilayered circles in artist Gavin Rain's neo-pointillist artwork, featured in exhibit 'Prime Ministers in Perspective,' through May 7, 2023 at Jerusalem Biennale Gallery (Clive Hassel)
    A closeup of the multilayered circles in artist Gavin Rain's neo-pointillist artwork, featured in exhibit 'Prime Ministers in Perspective,' through May 7, 2023 at Jerusalem Biennale Gallery (Clive Hassel)
  • Yitzhak Shamir, Israel's prime minister from 1983-1984, 1986-1992, as envisioned in Gavin Rain's artwork, part of the Prime Ministers in Perspective exhibit at Jerusalem's Biennale Gallery, April 23, 2023 through May 7, 2023 (Courtesy Clive Hassel/Reproduction of Artists Works for Brandsmiths and Myron Zeidel)
    Yitzhak Shamir, Israel's prime minister from 1983-1984, 1986-1992, as envisioned in Gavin Rain's artwork, part of the Prime Ministers in Perspective exhibit at Jerusalem's Biennale Gallery, April 23, 2023 through May 7, 2023 (Courtesy Clive Hassel/Reproduction of Artists Works for Brandsmiths and Myron Zeidel)
  • Ariel Sharon, Israel's prime minister from 2001-2006, as envisioned in Gavin Rain's artwork, part of the Prime Ministers in Perspective exhibit at Jerusalem's Biennale Gallery, April 23, 2023 through May 7, 2023 (Courtesy Clive Hassel/Reproduction of Artists Works for Brandsmiths and Myron Zeidel)
    Ariel Sharon, Israel's prime minister from 2001-2006, as envisioned in Gavin Rain's artwork, part of the Prime Ministers in Perspective exhibit at Jerusalem's Biennale Gallery, April 23, 2023 through May 7, 2023 (Courtesy Clive Hassel/Reproduction of Artists Works for Brandsmiths and Myron Zeidel)
  • Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's prime minister from 1996-1999, 2009-201, as envisioned in Gavin Rain's artwork, part of the Prime Ministers in Perspective exhibit at Jerusalem's Biennale Gallery, April 23, 2023 through May 7, 2023 (Courtesy Clive Hassel/Reproduction of Artists Works for Brandsmiths and Myron Zeidel)
    Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's prime minister from 1996-1999, 2009-201, as envisioned in Gavin Rain's artwork, part of the Prime Ministers in Perspective exhibit at Jerusalem's Biennale Gallery, April 23, 2023 through May 7, 2023 (Courtesy Clive Hassel/Reproduction of Artists Works for Brandsmiths and Myron Zeidel)
  • Menachem Begin, Israel's prime minister from 1977-1983, as envisioned in Gavin Rain's artwork, part of the Prime Ministers in Perspective exhibit at Jerusalem's Biennale Gallery, April 23, 2023 through May 7, 2023 (Courtesy Clive Hassel/Reproduction of Artists Works for Brandsmiths and Myron Zeidel)
    Menachem Begin, Israel's prime minister from 1977-1983, as envisioned in Gavin Rain's artwork, part of the Prime Ministers in Perspective exhibit at Jerusalem's Biennale Gallery, April 23, 2023 through May 7, 2023 (Courtesy Clive Hassel/Reproduction of Artists Works for Brandsmiths and Myron Zeidel)
  • Portraits of Ariel Sharon (far left), Ehud Barak, Benjamin Netanyahu and Shimon Peres as envisioned in Gavin Rain's artwork, part of the Prime Ministers in Perspective exhibit at Jerusalem's Biennale Gallery, April 23, 2023 through May 7, 2023 (Courtesy Clive Hassel/Reproduction of Artists Works for Brandsmiths and Myron Zeidel)
    Portraits of Ariel Sharon (far left), Ehud Barak, Benjamin Netanyahu and Shimon Peres as envisioned in Gavin Rain's artwork, part of the Prime Ministers in Perspective exhibit at Jerusalem's Biennale Gallery, April 23, 2023 through May 7, 2023 (Courtesy Clive Hassel/Reproduction of Artists Works for Brandsmiths and Myron Zeidel)
  • Portraits of Moshe Sharett (left) and David Ben-Gurion as envisioned in Gavin Rain's artwork, part of the Prime Ministers in Perspective exhibit at Jerusalem's Biennale Gallery, April 23, 2023 through May 7, 2023 (Courtesy Clive Hassel/Reproduction of Artists Works for Brandsmiths and Myron Zeidel)
    Portraits of Moshe Sharett (left) and David Ben-Gurion as envisioned in Gavin Rain's artwork, part of the Prime Ministers in Perspective exhibit at Jerusalem's Biennale Gallery, April 23, 2023 through May 7, 2023 (Courtesy Clive Hassel/Reproduction of Artists Works for Brandsmiths and Myron Zeidel)

It takes a moment to adjust to the colorful, raised painted dots that make up artist Gavin Rain’s acrylic canvases, painted in his neo-pointillist style.

It takes another second to focus and see what is hidden in plain sight: the visage of David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, his fluffy white hair framing his face, his eyes slanted off to the side.

The portrait of Ben Gurion is the first in Rain’s series of 12 Israeli prime ministers (through Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s 23rd Knesset), titled “Prime Ministers in Perspective.”

The portrait collection is currently being exhibited at The Biennale Gallery in Jerusalem’s former Shaare Zedek building, in honor of Israel’s 75th.

Ben Gurion claims pride of place at the center of the exhibit, followed, to the left, in the direction of Hebrew writing, by Moshe Sharett, Levi Eshkol, Golda Meir, Yitzhak Rabin, Menachem Begin, Yitzhak Shamir, Shimon Peres, Benjamin Netanyahu, Ehud Barak, Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert.

It is the viewer’s job to hone in on who is portrayed in each portrait, done by viewing the painting from a short distance, and then, if one wishes, by looking at it through the viewfinder of a phone or camera lens, which sharpens the portrait’s imagery.

Ehud Barak, Israel’s prime minister from 1999-2001, as presented in Gavin Rain’s artwork, part of the Prime Ministers in Perspective exhibit at Jerusalem’s Biennale Gallery, April 23, 2023 through May 7, 2023. (Courtesy, Clive Hassel/Reproduction of Artists Works for Brandsmiths and Myron Zeidel)

Ariel Sharon is grinning broadly, while, to his right, Ehud Barak has his trademark eyebrows raised in question.

Benjamin Netanyahu is in the middle of one wall, with Barak on his left and Peres on his right, an uncomfortable political triumvirate, to be sure.

Levi Eshkol’s heavy eyebrows and glasses grab attention in his portrait, as do Menachem Begin’s spectacles, in his painting.

Rain’s neo-pointillist works are created by painting rows of dots in a pattern, similar to the pixels of television or computer screen that form a digital image.

It is a complex system, involving stencils and measurements, before a drop of paint touches the canvas.

A closeup of the multilayered circles in artist Gavin Rain’s neo-pointillist artwork, featured in exhibit ‘Prime Ministers in Perspective,’ through May 7, 2023 at Jerusalem Biennale Gallery (Clive Hassel)

South African collector Myron Zaidel was familiar with Rain’s work, which often focuses on famous female faces, such as Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe.

The former Johannesburg resident liked it so much he commissioned Rain, from Cape Town, to create the Israeli prime ministers portraits, later moving the entire collection with him to Israel, to his new home in Netanya.

“I didn’t want to just bring furniture and clothing,” said Zaidel.

Portraits of Ariel Sharon (far left), Ehud Barak, Benjamin Netanyahu and Shimon Peres as presented in Gavin Rain’s artwork, part of the Prime Ministers in Perspective exhibit at Jerusalem’s Biennale Gallery, April 23, 2023 through May 7, 2023. (Courtesy, Clive Hassel/Reproduction of Artists Works for Brandsmiths and Myron Zeidel)

The exhibit at Jerusalem Biennale Gallery is the first time all 12 portraits are hanging together in one room, said Zaidel, who has had Ben Gurion and Golda Meir hanging on the walls of his home.

In fact, said Zaidel, “I think it’s the first time all 12 prime ministers are together in one room.”

Each of the prime ministers has something of a sneaky smile in the portraits, said Rami Ozeri, founder of the Jerusalem Biennale biannual event that is hosting the exhibit in its permanent gallery at 161 Jaffa Road, the original home of the Shaare Zedek hospital, now located in another neighborhood.

Ozeri commented that he was blocked when he tried to promote the exhibit on Facebook, presumably because of the artworks’ supposed political message.

Levi Eshkol, Israel’s prime minister from 1963-1969, as presented in Gavin Rain’s artwork, part of the Prime Ministers in Perspective exhibit at Jerusalem’s Biennale Gallery, April 23, 2023 through May 7, 2023. (Courtesy, Clive Hassel/Reproduction of Artists Works for Brandsmiths and Myron Zeidel)

That’s just the thing, countered Zaidel.

“This is apolitical,” he said. “It’s all of Israel’s prime ministers, all together in one room.”

“Prime Ministers in Perspective” is open Sunday through Thursday, 10:00 a.m. through 4:00 p.m., until May 7 at the Jerusalem Biennale Gallery.

The gallery is hosting a family-friendly event on Independence Day, Wednesday, April 26, at 161 Jaffa Road.

The event begins with an 11 a.m. guided tour of the exhibit, followed by an 11:30 a.m. workshop inspired by artist Gavin Rain’s neo-pointillist method and a 12:30 p.m. barbecue and DJ street party.

read more:
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed
image
Register for free
and continue reading
Registering also lets you comment on articles and helps us improve your experience. It takes just a few seconds.
Already registered? Enter your email to sign in.
Please use the following structure: example@domain.com
Or Continue with
By registering you agree to the terms and conditions. Once registered, you’ll receive our Daily Edition email for free.
Register to continue
Or Continue with
Log in to continue
Sign in or Register
Or Continue with
check your email
Check your email
We sent an email to you at .
It has a link that will sign you in.