2021 - Corridor Contemporary
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Half A Winning Horse


December 1, 2021
Illustration Week or as the local scene likes to call it, the Illustration Festival has been in its eighth year.

The event, which is a collaboration between the Tel Aviv Municipality and Portfolio Magazine, and lasted 10 days (November 2021), was attended by 700 illustrators in 76 exhibitions,  who exhibited their work in exhibitions displayed in cultural and art spaces, collaborative galleries, museums and entertainment venues throughout the city.

The Illustration Week which has become an urban tradition, is dedicated to original Israeli illustration, and is intended to encourage artistic creation in the field and give a stage to hundreds of local illustrators, old and young alike, as well as to present exhibitions and illustrations initiated by academic institutions and independent illustrators’ organizations.
This favorite institute illustrates the importance that the Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality sees in cultivating culture in all its forms and investing in it. The municipality invests about 6.5% of its budget in culture and the arts each year; Consistently works to make culture accessible to large and diverse populations, invests in the future generation of cultural consumers and generators and preserves the status of Tel Aviv-Yafo as a leading, pluralistic and innovative Israeli and international cultural center.
Nurit Gross, Lion and Crocodile, 2021, from the exhibition Half A Winning Horse – Baron Munchausen in Old Jaffa. Courtesy of Zur Kotzer

We chose two of our favorite exhibitions to tell you about:

Home Is Just

The meaning of the concept of a house. This group exhibition was curated by Reut Barnea and presented in a lovely space in Jaffa’s Old City.
Square, usually white. Above it is a triangle, usually red. An image that often does not reflect the real home and yet – it is there, a schematic image that is detailed on so many strings, and reflects values and worldview. Artists present alongside a series of house paintings of children under the age of 10 living in different places in the country, in an exhibition that deals with the meaning of the concept of a house and its connection to the childish and primary image of a small house with a red roof.
Iddo Markus, Homes of others from the exhibition “Home is just”

Iddo Markus refers to the houses of others in his oil paintings, some from his imagination and some from an old collection he has in his possession. His paintings, miniatures on the thin border between figurative and abstract, move between homes that are planted in nature and homes that are more about a state of mind than a realistic place.

 
 
 
Iddo Markus
Home and Landscapes, 2012-2014
Oil on Wood

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Half A Winning Horse –

Baron Munchausen in

Old Jaffa

A grotesque interpretation of the plots of Baron Munchausen.
The exhibition, which took place at the Lotan Gallery in Old Jaffa, presents a fruitful collaboration between two illustrators: Sergei Iskov and Nurit Gross, graduates of the Department of Visual Communication at Bezalel the Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem, and here is what the curator Hila Noam wrote about the exhibition:
“Half-bodied horses, lunar flights, life-threatening hunting trips, and snow-drawn wolves are all just a few of the starring elements in Baron Munchausen’s boundary travel stories, as described in Rudolf Erich Resfa’s book of 1785. Iscove and Gross, produces a grotesque visual interpretation of these plots while examining the boundaries between truth and falsehood, fiction and madness. By referring to the ancient space in Jaffa and examining it in two dimensions and in three dimensions, they raise questions about the hero’s place, cruelty and a particularly exaggerated imagination”.
Sergey Isakov, Half Horse, Dyptich, 2021, Acrylic on wood 70 x 100 (cm each wood board) Courtesy of Zur Kotzer
Sergey Isakov, Tea Party, 2021, Acrylic on wood, 85 x 60 cm. Courtesy of Zur Kotzer

This year, Illustration Week slipped into the southern neighborhoods of the city as well as to the magical and picturesque alleys of Old Jaffa. So do yourself a favour and make a note for yourself: the next time you come to us in Tel Aviv we highly recommend checking if you are lucky enough and you have arrived at this special time in the year when all this magic of Illustration Week happens.

Collectibles Toys


November 28, 2021
Over the last few years, it has been more and more clear that the pop phenomena of collectibles toys are here to stay. Not only for kids sake, but for responsible adults and art collectors especially!

Here are a few trends that enable a high demand for collectibles toys in the art market today:

Kitsch or major art-historical importance

After the street art scene in the 80’s and later pop artists, it has been brought to our collective-art attention the idea that art is not meant only for museums and fancy collectors homes. We learned that art is meant to be shared with everyone in the world, no matter what color they are, no matter where they live, and no matter how much they earn for a living. Art is no longer the possession of elitistic exclusive groups like it was in past decades. 
Jeff Koons, for example, creates representations of  objects such as balloon animals. He designs both large and small scale sculptures produced in stainless steel with a mirror-like finish. Over the years, his work was controversial between the criticism of people who described his work as kitsch, crass, and based on cynical self-merchandising versus others who saw his work as pioneering and of major art-historical importance.
Dealing with iconic, adorable cartoon characters is one of KAWS themes since the beginning of his career. He used to paint characters from the loved series, The Simpsons, and broke a new record for himself in 2019 when his painting “The Kaws Album” (2005), was sold in an auction in Sotheby’s Hong Kong for $14.7 million U.S. dollars.
Limited edition, depicting the freestanding Balloon Dog, porcelain, will soon be available in our gallery. Courtesy of Jeff Koons studio, @KeithMajorPhoto and @bertrandbozon
Koons playfully tests the boundaries of commerce, celebrity, banality and pleasure.
Pop Culture: The Kaws Album, 2005. a parody of a parody: It recreates The Yellow Album, The Simpsons’ take on the Beatles’ famous 1967 album cover for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

Kawaii

Globalization has spread the rumor of  the Japanese mass culture including their common habit of buying gifts to each other and the Kawaii cute culture. It was very common to see people buy a lot of small dolls such as Hello Kitty etc.
The cuteness culture, or Kawaii aesthetic, has become a prominent aspect of Japanese popular culture. It refers to items, human and non-human, that are charming and childlike. Examples include characters like Hello Kitty and Pikachu. Japanese artist, Hiro Ando, creates cat sculptures reminiscent of Maneki-Neko (literally, “beckoning cat”), an ubiquitous Japanese cultural icon symbolizing good luck. Maneki-Neko figurines can be found in nearly every souvenir store and restaurant in Japan. Ando integrates tradition with contemporary culture in his sculptures. His sculptures resemble enlarged toy cartoon characters and bears named SumoCat, Samurai Cat, UrbanCat, and RobotCat. They’re mainly monochrome, glossy, hand-painted or decked out with rhinestones.
Another Japanese collectible is Be@brick created by Tatsuhiko Akashi, who founded the Japanese company, Medicom Toy, in 1996. Be@brick is a unique vinyl toy, which is extremely desired amongst collectors since it became open to the public. Although a simple plastic toy, some of the world’s biggest fashion houses and designers have adopted it to showcase their latest designs and projects. 
Despite being moderately priced, the plastic bear-shaped figurine is immensely valuable to collectors. Moreover, some of these are sold for tens of thousands of dollars at auctions. This is why American musician Joe Hahn popularly dubbed it as an “adult collectible toy”.
Hiro Ando, Monology Urban Pink, Mix Media Resin with Pigment Polychrome under Plexy Cap, Ed. of 8, 25 cm (1)
Hiro Ando, Monology Urban Pink, Mix Media Resin with Pigment Polychrome under Plexy Cap, 33 x 26 x 24 cm, 13 x 10 x 9.5 in
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An art toys collector’s house (Thailand, 2013) Designed by Onion. Courtesy of Dezeen

Collectibles toys of @deoneo (Instagram) Art & Arttoys collector from Thailand

Be@rbrick, The Joker (The Dark Knight), 2001, Plastic Figurine\Medicom Toy, 74 x 34 x 24 cm, 29 x 13.5 x 9.5 in
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The Rubber Duck in Hong Kong (2013).  A giant 16.5 meter (54 feet) inflatable duck. Courtesy of CNN.
KAWS, Holiday, 2021 at Marina Bay, Singapore. Courtesy of @AllRightsReserved

And then the Rubber Duck showed up

Somewhere in the beginning of the new era, we started to see more and more playful urban installations (site specific) involving huge sculptures of pop images in the public open spaces. The most lovable and remembered project was the Yellow Rubber Duck by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman. This iconic toy was familiar in almost every house all over the world. The artist picked this specific toy so that he can send a simple message of a happier life to everyone everywhere. The first duck was made in 2007, then the giant floating sculptures have appeared in many cities around the world, including Hong Kong, Pittsburgh, Toronto, Kaohsiung, Baku, and Sydney. The purpose of his art was to promote the message of healing.
The Yellow Duck was the beginning of site specific big sculpture flow and in March 2019, a 121-foot-long inflatable version of KAWS’ Companion was installed in Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour during Art Basel. Anchored by a 40-ton weight, versions of the piece dubbed KAWS: HOLIDAY were on view also in Seoul and Taipei among other places around the world.
Whereas Hofman took a very recognizable warm nostalgic icon, KAWS used his well known personal invented character ‘Companion’ clown-like figure based on Mickey Mouse with his face obscured by both hands, and two bones sticking out of his head. He manages to design and create a stand alone creature with a mass production vibe from one hand and a humanity feeling kind of look from the other.
Kaws, Companion Blush (Flayed), 2017, Vinyl, 27.3 x 11.43 x 6.99 cm (2)
KAWS, Companion (Passing Through) Brown, 2018, Vinyl,    29 x 9 x 14 cm, 11.5 x 3.5 x 5.5 in.
KAWS, Companion Blush (Flayed), 2017, Vinyl, 27 x 11 x 7 cm, 11 x 4 .5 x 3 in.
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Generation of enthusiastic artists

Contemporary artists nowadays love to explore their creation in a few mediums. They like to paint in a traditional way, but they are also enthusiastic about seeing their personal language in small and large formats as well as 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional perspectives. Their artworks can be found on gallery walls and on large street murals. They also design and create sculptures in the shape of characters which play a part in the collectible art scene.
Philp Colbert, the scottish London based artist, is known for his alter ego character, The Lobster. Colbert seeks to saturize our addict culture through his triumphant orchestration of appropriated imagery. The Lobster, who is shown in his paintings as well in his small and big (resin) sculptures, explores the patterns of contemporary digital culture and its relationship to a deeper historical dialogue, as he once said: “The lobster is my materialistic alter-ego”.
FlyBoy and Lil Mama, the two invented protagonists: curious, empowered kids of american artist Hebru Brantley are featured in the same powerful way on canvas and prints as well as (resin) sculptures. Defining himself as an Afrofuturist, Brantley draws from a range of influences including Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Chicago’s AfriCOBRA collective, African American history, hip-hop, anime, manga, and his own experiences of African American and urban life in the United States.
Lil Mama, a mural by Hebru Brantley (Chicago, 2013)
Hebru Brantley, Ultra Lumen OG Sculpture, 2021, Resin Sculpture, 41 x 33 x 41 cm, 16 x 13 x 16 in, Edition of 100, AP Edition of 10
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Philip Colbert, Lobster Portrait (Sky Blue), 2020, Oil and Acrylic on Canvas, 40 x 30 x 4.5 cm, 16  x 12 x 2  in.
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The combination of investigating high and low art, the spread of Japanese art, the appearance of the huge pop sculptures in public places and the flexibility of artists moving between mediums enables the growth of collectible toy collectors.

So next time you are getting into a gallery with your teeangers and they get a crash on a collectible toy, you can be sure he or she probably knows a thing or two about the art scene.
The Lobster, Colbert’s alter ego, solo show, 2019

THE SECOND HOUSE


August 11, 2021

Eran Reshef | The Second House (2009–2011)

Eran Reshef the Second House courtesy Amit Shaal

Eran Reshef in front of his artwork. Courtesy of Amit Shaal

Visiting the gallery, one will find an impressive, large scale work in oil on wood by Eran Reshef. Rising to more than 9 feet high and 11.5 feet wide, the realistic 1:1 description of the scenery viewed from the artist’s studio in South Tel Aviv juxtaposed against the white walls of the gallery is a breathtaking experience for the viewer.

The painting, executed over the course of 3 years, describes a dialogue between the inner and outer world. This dialogue exists in terms of the physical world it illustrates as well as the emotional content poured into/articulated within the painting.

 

Reshef, born in 1964 in Israel, is a well-respected, established artist in both Israel and the world at large. 

At the beginning of his artistic path, Reshef enrolled at Avni Institute of Painting and Sculpture, Tel Aviv. Then, he decided to move to NYC in 1989 where he studied at the Parsons School of Design. There Reshef earned his B.F.A and M.F.A at Brooklyn College under Lennart Anderson and won the Edward Shaw Memorial Award for Painting (CUNY) both in 1992 and in 1994. Later, he won numerous prestigious awards and grants including the Julius Hallgarten Prize (National Academy of Design Museum), the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant in 2003, and the The Haim Shiff Prize for Figurative Realistic painting (Tel Aviv Museum of Art) in 2010.

Reshef paints solely from direct observation so that no means are standing between the artist and his subject – as a result, there is a completely authentic dialogue between them. The fact that a list of well-respected collectors (Sharp Cronson, Dubi Shiff, Israel Museum and Tel Aviv Museum to name a few) are regular patrons of the artist’s work allows him to create an independent working-rhythm which results in only a few paintings each year.

 

Eran Reshef in his studio courtesy Amit Shaal

Eran Reshef, Courtesy of Amit Shaal

Second House was exhibited in 2011 in Tel Aviv Museum in the show Contemporary Realism – below is an excerpt from the catalogue written by Hadas Maor

“The work The Second House (2009–2011), for instance, depicts part of Reshef’s studio, including the peeling wall, floor tiles and gas canister already familiar from his earlier works. In this case, however, the wide window located at the center of the composition looks out over southern Tel Aviv (whose old industrial buildings bespeak the cultural and political logic that shaped their construction in the mid-20th century), as well as over several trees and two business towers that rise up further north, closer to the center of the city. In contrast to the somewhat dark space of the studio and to the dull, grayish color of the buildings, the sky is a typically bright Mediterranean blue. This work captures the heterogeneity of urban life, and the combination of industry and living quarters, of decorative elements (a planter, a sun umbrella) and practical elements (air-conditioners, a surveillance camera, etc.). In contrast to the laconic quality typical of Reshef’s works, the title of this painting embodies several interpretive possibilities. For although the term “second home” implies the existence of a first home, it remains unclear whether it is being used to refer to the artist’s studio, to a national homeland, or perhaps even to a religious home – i.e., to the Second Temple.”

Tel Aviv Museum of Art
The Second House, 2009-2011,
Oil on Wood,
280 x 350 cm, 110 x 138 in
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Leaf, 2009,
Oil on Wood,
30 x 26 cm, 12 x 10 in
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BEHIND THE BARS


May 31, 2021

Konstantin Benkovich the Russian activist innovated artist has landed in Corridor Contemporary Gallery.

Artworks of Benkovich are in the permanent museum collections and in many private collections around the globe.  Together with Pussy Riot and a number of other well-known Russian artists, he participated in the group exhibition “Russian Post-Soviet Actionism” at the Saatchi Art Gallery in London in 2017, various public projects worldwide, exhibitions in the Multimedia Art Museum in Moscow (2021) and the exhibition “Millennials in Contemporary Russian Art” running today in the Russian State Museum in Saint-Petersburg.

His works deal with freedom and unfreedom through the symbols and materiality of his sculptures.
The reconsidered, reinvented symbols turn into new – critical, political, desacralized ones.

The most dominant material in his works are steel bars which he cuts and welds into grids. The rebar and steel in Russia is the synonym of unfreedom. The rebar is an absolute symbol of aggression.

The Flag series was created in Israel after Benkovich was required to quarantine in Israel for a few months due to COVID-19.

FLAG WITH A DUCK WITH KHAKI STRIPES, 2021, Acrylic on canvas, 70 x 100 cm

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The WTC installation (World Trade Center) refers to the September 11 attacks which was disastrous on a global scale. Benkovich applied the inverted perspective method in order to depict the tragic event “from the other perspective”. 

This whole piece resembles an altar, and at the same time, the frozen moment, before the disaster was just about to happen, the people were still alive, but were trapped in the buildings and the planes – like in prison cells, had no way out – while approaching imminent death.

 
THE WTC, 2019, Steel rebar, welding, 40 kg, 250 x 120 cm
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The flags of Israel and Palestine in khaki color are not just flags of states, they are a symbol of confrontation between two peoples. Military chevrons. Layers of metal turn flags into lattices, which, when superimposed on each other, form a symbiosis of two symbols, where there is more in common than different.

The sculptor tries to use art as diplomatic language to stop confrontation and bloodshed, and to offer a perspective that emphasizes the potential of the peaceful coexistence of the Israeli and Palestinian nations.

 
THE PROMISE, 2020, Metal / welding, Center for Contemporary Art (Tel Aviv)

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This metal grid “Scream” hovering over the wall on the Moskvoretsky Bridge is an addition to the memorial of Boris Nemtsov where he was killed: a sculptural version of Edvard Munch’s “The Scream.”
The artwork was created as a means to convey the feelings overwhelming the people following the politician, Boris Nemtsov’s murder.

 
 
SCREAM,2018, Metal / welding, 36×26 cm, Place of the murder of Boris Nemtsov. Bolshoy Moskvoretsky bridge, Moscow
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Ironically, the artwork “Departures and Arrivals Board” very clearly reflected the realities of our world, which have become relevant to all of us in 2020. All human progress and all freedom of movement turned out to be powerless in the face of the coronavirus pandemic – invisible virus, which at one moment “turned off” the entire travel industry, as well as all world processes associated with civil aviation.

 
 
DEPARTURES AND ARRIVALS BOARD,  2018, Acrylic on canvas 190 x 190 cm.
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Beretta, 2019, Painted  Metal and Welding, 75 × 80 cm, Edition of 5
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Donald Duck, 2018, Metal and Welding, 40 × 38 cm, Edition of 5
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Five Yellow Ducks (Set), 2017, Painted Metal and Welding, 20 × 27 cm
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From the press / by Alexander Borovsky

Konstantin Benkovich appears to me to be the most fitting and fit-for-success media artist of the late 2010s.

I think that Benkovich was somehow able to nurture his sense of mediality, something they do not teach at Saint Petersburg Stieglitz State Academy of Art and Design or anywhere else for that matter. The artist also honed in on his own technique: the thick rebar and welding. He also found his module: the relation between height and width of the matrix quadrants to the thickness of rebar. Coloring came in its due time too. The structural solutions varied as well: turning away from the grid support, gaps/ redactions in composition, etc. the artist has learned to graft several layers of mediality onto the conceptual framework of an idea.

Konstantin, in his projects, publicly speaks out against corruption at all levels of government. Since 2017, the yellow duck has become a real symbol of the corruption component of today’s regimes, and not only in Russia. Many of Benkovich’s works are made of rebar and represent gratings, symbolizing unjustified expectations from modern authorities, their desire to restrict freedom of people, be it a prison sentence for dissent or attempts to restrict freedom of speech and thought, because this trend is gaining momentum not only in regime states, but, as we can see, on social networks, which were created as a platform for completely free expression of opinions.

Benkovich achieved great success in 2016 with a major project, called Koons’ Dog, right in front of the Russian Museum in St. Petersburg.
KOON’S DOG, 2016, Metal / welding 250 x 300 x 70 cm, Edition of 5
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For more info visit Konstantin Benkovich artist’s age.

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