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Shamai Gibsh

Curator: Reuven Porat


Shamai Gibsh's work transforms clay into conceptual objects and fluctuates between abstract and form. Gibsh shares with us his internal reflection and personal insights and their significance on the individual and the reciprocity with society and culture. In a circular dialogue this voyage is characterized with neither beginning nor end.  The images that implement this dialogue are wound about cylindrical bodies, painted and engraved into medallions, ornament plates and are emerging from masks, from within  outwards. Some other round objects have sharp angular elements; theses are entitled "Birds on a Steep Slope” and are inspired by a poem composed by Gibsh's partner. Other pieces, spherical yet asymmetrical, share a noticeable resemblance in structure. Nevertheless, the color scheme, the gleam and the linear elements, the sooty and the faded texture, stand out and accentuate their distinct appearance.


Gibsh utilizes the ancient helenistic technique of painting and covering with Terra Sigillata. Natural samples of earth gathered in Israel and around the world, are the source of the multicolored palette. In Gibsh's artistic hands the warm hues create the backdrop where the imagery meets infinity. In addition to this technique, Gibsh makes use of another ancient method developed in Egypt in the 9th century, Arabian Luster. This is where he achieves the varying luminosity and the gloss, dependent upon the observer's eye, angle, and distance. Exemplifying different methods of alternative firing, Gibsh transgresses the traditional and anticipated, and creates an approach in which the fire emblazes the body and the body blazes the fire.


Reuven Porat

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