Yuval Shaul interview for Execute Magazine

Yuval Shaul was born 1961 in Tel Aviv, Israel, he graduated from the Avni Institute, Tel Aviv with Art Studies in 1988 as-well as studying under Zvi Millstein Studio in 1984. Winner of the 2011 Cutlog Prize, Paris, he has also achieved the Young Artist Prize from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports in 1991 and completed 2 one-year scholarships from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation and Sharet Foundation 1989-1990. His work has been obtained in a number of various prominent collections such as the Israel Museum (Jerusalem), Tel Aviv Museum of Art (Tel Aviv), Herzliya Museum of Art (Herzliya), Janco Dada Museum (Ein Hod), Leumi Bank Collection (Tel Aviv), Discount Bank Collection (Tel Aviv), Hapoalim Bank Collection (Tel Aviv), the Israel Parliament and the Knesset Collection (Jerusalem).
  1. Why did you decide to go back to painting? What was the reason and motivation for going back?
It wasn’t a motivation driving me, but a compulsion to do it. After a stormy period of about 2 years, in which I published my artist book ‘Violence & Compassion’, a hiatus in my artistic inspiration came to an end. The hiatus was followed by a strong need to make art.  
  1. Your sculptures are very representative. However, the new set of painting that you have shown at Christine Park Gallery aren’t of the same make. I would like to understand what informed your decision. What is the philosophical meaning to it? As you may know, Chinese calligraphers changed their names in the middle of their career. They do this with the intention of starting afresh, an attempt at being unrecognized. Does your art represent the same type of mind and concept shift?
Yes, absolutely. If I knew what my next piece would end up being like, I wouldn’t endeavour to create it. My constant changing of themes and visual language reflects my search for new modes of representation and self-identity. As Eric Cherniak once said “An idea becomes interesting when you fear to follow it up to its natural conclusion” My constant changing of themes and visual language reflects my search for new modes of representation and self-identity. Click To Tweet  
  1. Are you trying to bring textures from sculpture to painting? 
Not consciously.  
  1. How do you want to be remembered? 
Luckily, the issue doesn’t occupy my thoughts. It is how I’m recognized and treated by my surroundings in my life, which is more pertinent.  
  1. The colors are now the gateway through which he passes to reach the truth of his feelings.”  Would you, please, explain this statement to us?
This quote is a bit too bombastic and theatrical for my liking. It is difficult to untangle it. If we were to replace the word ‘colors’ with any other word, especially from the world of art, this would have been as irrelevant to me.  
  1. What does it take to make a great piece of art?
This is a big question that only time can tell. but in my opinion, a good work of art will always be wiser than its creator. A good work of art will always be wiser than its creator. Yuval Shaul Click To Tweet  
  1. Rembrandt took a picture of himself in the studio against a blank canvas, expressing the anxiety and wonder about the beauty of a blank canvas. How do you confront blank canvas? How different is it from sculpture?
The way we confront a blank canvas is different from the way Rembrandt and his peers regarded it. For them, this was the ‘ex nihilo’ from which a full description of life emerges. For us, even leaving the canvas blank, constitutes. potentially, the essence of creation. The same applies to sculpture.  
  1. How often do you paint?
Normally after periods of creative droughts come periods of intense daily activity. But there are no regular patterns to that, and all the better for it.  
  1. Is sculpture “dead?”
No, because in a period where everything is reduced to 2 dimensions (screens, etc) the 3 dimensioness of sculpture, wins!    


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