The Voice of Shadows
Curator: Ruthie Sagi
Shadi Twafra was born in 1983. He lives and works in Kfar Maghar in the Northern Galilee in Israel. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Art from Sakhnin College, and graduated from Tiltan College of Design and Visual Communications in Haifa. Twafra has exhibited in four solo exhibitions and participated in a number of group exhibitions. Twafra claims that at the beginning of his artistic journey, the person who influenced him most and with whom he has maintained a personal friendship is the artist, Zuhdi Qadri.
Twafra's work is expressive - sensitive and powerful, noted by implementing an unconventional combination of materials such as tar and charcoal, plastic, coffee, textiles and rope, mixed with oil paint, acrylic and ink.
The themes of Shadi's work touch upon his autobiography, ethnic origin, diversity, and social and political issues. He criticizes the conservative society that is unwelcoming towards the foreign and the outsider, while expressing his rejection towards violence of any kind. He paints himself or animals, and imaginary figures that are culturally and symbolically charged, along with abstracts; they express emotional upheaval and naivete at once.
The Voice of Shadows at the Maya Gallery will address Shadi's creative process in the past few years - figurative art alongside the abstract language.
"The way Shadi's work relates to the surface prompts the work of Zaritzky and Cooperman. They have an intense internal motion that attempts to break through the surface and shape it, but at the same time, to conceal it. The obvious that reveals its shadow and the shadow deepens and revitalizes the obvious…Shadi's work contains meaty, marrow-like elements, as well as a strong dreamy component that accord the work a uniqueness in the Israeli art arena. The rapport between the symbolic figures and the abstract world from which they have emerged, is reminiscent of an intrinsic tempest that moves towards a space that threatens to implode – a sort of supernova that becomes a black hole" (Kovner).
Shadi claims that his work expresses his furtive and ambiguous feelings and senses. In some of his work he mottles the canvas with ink or black coal, and between these applications, the voids suddenly appear, creating open spaces. These spaces become shadows – ghosts of the soul - bearing no defined characteristics lurking behind the streaks of indistinct color, playing with these spaces, and highlighting the artist's tendency towards abstraction. The contour of his hand and eye movements are independent of the brain's intervention, a denial of the reality of the environment.
He offers us "the black" and "the black on the white" in a variety of ways. Shadi's "black" is not truly black, and the "white" is not truly white. Shadi Twafra handles paint intuitively. His artistic language is mainly characterized by a monochromatic color scheme. In the beginning, he produced figurative work and later continued back and forth towards the abstract. He procures the material and the paint in order to break through new channels and develop his expressive tool – his identity card – the personal language that for the most part was black, that which conceals all of his secrets, both as a person, and as an artist.
Lately, Shadi has added color to his palette – bold layers of warm and cold applications of paint, creating a thick, coarse texture. In this exhibit, two colorful figures are shown in which the layers of paint that are observed one on top of the other, produce a prominent texture that yields a three-dimensional sensation. He claims that he chose this technique so that the viewer would be able to sense his work like the blind, through touch.
Shadi believes that art tempers the soul and restrains our descent into the abyss. Art, in all of its for, is the sublimation of the human spirit, as well as the brake that decelerates our fall into the bores of recklessness.
"I perceive a pulsating component in art that provides the possibility to fly on the wings of imagination, to create and develop. The human is a part of nature that has refined his senses; he seeks beauty, experiences it, and turns it into a paramount importance" (Shadi Twafra, 2021).