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Paintings on ceramic

Rafi Münz & Moshe Shek


"The Girls' Plague"

The Periscope Design Gallery in Tel Aviv opened an exhibition of more than 100 plates & bowls, executed by 2 senior artists: The sculptor/ceramist Moshe Shek (Juke) – responsible for casting the ware; the painter/sculptor Rafi Münz “scribbled” on them.  “The postimpressionistic painting on plates, originated in France about 80 years ago and myself going on with it since age 4, is making a comeback, apparently” says Münz.  “Instead of framing drawings, watercolors and stuff for walls, I prefer art that people can use; while dining, for instance". And practical they are indeed – leadless,

poison less – good for food.  The paintings are spontaneous, no drafts, as if he would paint on paper.  Münz lives and works in Givat-Ada, Juke in Kibbutz Beit-Nir in the south; this fact does not interrupt their working and fooling around together for decades. Each one of them has acquired a place of honor within art creation in the country and they enjoy meddling in each other’s work with folly. The idea for this exhibition, Rafi admits, started as a joke.  The show is saturated with a Jewish-Yiddish sense of humor. “I took the story of the ten plagues (from the Haggadah) hardly” so Münz, “that’s why here I led it towards a lighter nonsense-direction, not schmaltzy or too sophisticated”.  Mackat Behorot (the plague of the first born) became Mackat Bekhorot – the plague of Girls, Arbe (Locust) became Harbe – a lot. Barad (Hail) is an iced drink and even the plague of Blood turned out to be an aesthetic plate, even though not everyone will use it for their food.  In the invitation the duo wrote that their works “add joy and deprive our lives from surplus/importance that we tend to bestow on it. The exhibition is a fresh landmark in its colorful spirit of nonsense of the pair.  “Is it not somewhat degrading for two elder and serious artists to paint on plates?” I challenge the two. “Disgrace?” wonders Münz, “My canvases demand reinforcing and permanent maintenance; a plate is a plate, always looking good – despite the fact that it can fall unto the floor only once…” Juke confesses: “You cannot do serious sculptures all the time”.  


 Giyora Oryan, Time-out, April 24, 2005

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