ABOUT THE ARTIST

Merav Steinmetz is a Belgium raised, Israeli painter. She studied fine art at the Slade school of Art in London and currently lives and works in Tel Aviv.

As Varda Steinlauf   once wrote in her text on Steinmetz ‘Wandering in the human sphere’: “The painterly sphere of Steinmetz’s works is a sphere in which images are contained and translated into forms and colors filled with passion, terror, darkness and humor.”

Steinmetz’s work is figurative, often dreamlike paintings, where the ‘action’ of painting is of great matter. She approaches painting as a (very) physical medium, and painting also as a sensual medium. The painter is trying to reflect on an inner state; emotional, disturbing and deformed portraits, situations or ‘mise en scène’ of marginal figures whom she encounters or imagines wondering through day to day life.
Her sometimes critical and investigating gaze takes the viewer into banal day to day moments (using symbols and motifs) to discuss a sort of ‘terror in banality’.

Steinmetz’s work often involves food related symbols; a croissant, a burger, or a plate of sushi, as Steinlauf recalled it “all these are signs of a well-fed middle class. Nevertheless, the quotidien atmosphere of these scenes sometimes acquires a more aggressive quality in terms of their palette, tone and ambiguity.”

At the end of the day, Steinmetz’s work still very much relies on an intuitive and impulsive approach to the work. Accidents in painting are often left to exist for instance paint dripping or accidental fingerprints.
The artist’s quest for this fine balance, between the conscious and the subconscious, sexuality versus fertility, authenticity versus forgery, pornography or pain, together or alone…

Steinmetz’s work asks questions rather than gives clear answers, while searching for equilibrium, where horror and beauty, terror and banality coexist.
    1. Varda Steinlauf is a Tel-Aviv Museum of Art curator. Steinlauf curated “5 Artists: Wondrous Worlds” a group show in which the Artist participated, March 2009, Tel-Aviv

 

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