HEUSDEN AAN DE MAAS . Artist, technician, photographer, designer and filmmaker, the skills of Arik Levy are multi-disciplinary and his work can be seen in prestigious galleries and museums worldwide. Two years after presenting the first solo-exhibition of Levy in the Benelux, a very personal project for both the artist and the gallery owners, Priveekollektie will now host his second solo exhibition in the region, from the 12th of May till the 2nd of June 2012. Like his previous 2010 exhibition eMy name is Arikf, eEmotional Deflectionf again reflects on Levyfs personal life and experiences.
“It has been nearly two years since my first exhibition ‘My name is Arik’ at the gallery: it was an exposure of my work and myself as well as of the private spaces of the gallery’s owners. It was our first exhibition together and all was very raw and circled around the building of our relationship.
In the last few years, the unconditioned space of life resulting from a father-and-son relationship within the adolescence period has taken me for a wild ride. Due to my over sensibility and sensitivity, I find myself in an emotional, physical and psychological difficulty, not to say distress at times, at the moment of approaching each other from a distance and getting closer, when energy, feelings and irrational/rational ideas get extremely powerful. Meetings or missed encounters are moments of deflection and superimposition of numerous parameters of life itself.
In this new exhibition ‘Emotional Deflection’ I intend to show a new and very recent body of work relating to actions and relativeness within me and my emotional architecture. Relationships within the social environment, urban landscape, as well as the relationships I have with me and my schizophrenic self, the world, people, my family and others. All this is expressed mostly with abstract works, drawings, filming, sculpture, photography and some figurative elements.
The dominating part of my work is actually econtrastf. It takes different meanings and various forms. Texture and tactile aspects are of important value, they take a subconscious place in experiencing the works and the meanings. The use of reflective (deflective) surfaces is not about just the material but particularly about the reflections, what they make us see - and therefore feel -, as direct or indirect aspects of our immediate surroundings. Another important aspect is the fact that when our own reflection takes part in the piece, an evident participation is generated.
Visual kinetics, movement, dynamics of action and reaction are all part of the contrast I seek to establish, build to crash to build. Perpetual hope and positivity. Some created by our own actions and some completed by our own brain.
Arik Levy on ‘Emotional Deflection’
All of Arik Levyfs pieces are all part of a long-term project. Each individual artwork tells a story of its own, but when put together with other pieces, their relations become clear. Levy explores his themes in an ongoing process and by approaching them from different angles. Space is one of the themes that plays a major part in his oeuvre. The GTS series, for example, is both about the space within the piece and the space surrounding it: because of the seeming movement, created by the composition of the forms, and the void they seem to leave in their trace, these sculptures strongly define the space they are in.
To Levy, space is closely related to emotional relationships. Although his work might seem formal at first, it is all about emotions. However, it is not with big dramatic gestures, but with seemingly simple and non-narrative forms that Levy expresses his ideas. As he explains: gYou donft have to cry to show emotions.h When looking closer at the geometric and abstract forms, the expression of emotions and relationships becomes more evident. The different forms and colors create a tension of coming closer and moving away again. Some forms are closely connected, clinging to each other. Others seem to be drifting away, leaving a void in the space behind them. Some a barely hanging on to gravity and make you wonder if they might fall down any moment.
The main theme of the exhibition is reflection, or ‘deflection’: Arik Levy expresses the relationships he has with himself, the people around him, his family, the world. For example the challenges of interacting with a teenage son, expressing both the fun and hard times a father goes through during this period, are reflected in his new artworks. Despite this personal approach his pieces have a certain universality to them, giving the public the possibility to relate or to project their own experiences and emotions onto the work. His paintings with overlapping forms in all kinds of colors for example tell a very relatable story. In Levy’s words both these paintings and the exhibition as a whole are “about multiple identities, confusion, loss of identity, different moments in your life. It reflects on who you are and who you become, due to experiences and situations.”
Reflection is also literally part of his work, as some of the pieces have a mirroring surface, making the surroundings part of the actual piece. Levy: “It captures the moment people look at themselves and see a reflection of their image.” For example ‘ImageShift’, a wall sculpture composed of several bar-‐shaped elements in mirror-‐polished stainless steel, shows a fragmented reflection of the person standing in front of it: parts of the body seem to be moving, drifting in different directions. Other parts are not even visible, leaving a gap in the reflected image. The sculpture is defined by the person, object, nature or light it reflects and as Levy says: “In the dark it doesn’t have the same meaning.”
Just as the viewer's reflections participate in the ImageShift series to give them meaning, the interpretation of the public is important to the artist, considering that his body of work is open to several subjective interpretations. No wonder this exhibition also functions as a place where people can meet, interact, reflect or deflect. In the artistfs words: gThe exhibition provides a possibility to engage to art, to exchange experiences or visions, to initiate discussions. It is an open door to many different ways of interpretation."
Emotional Deflectionf will be shown from the 12th of May till the 7th of June 2012. Arik Levy will be present during the Preview at May 12 (by invitation only, 5-8 pm).