In addition to my Jewish cultural and family ties to Israel, the phenomenon of televised aggression continues to disturb yet fascinate. When Middle East tensions are high, like many people around the world, I am riveted to the news, which I even watch in my studio. My personal connections, sympathy and fascination catalyzed a series of paintings, Middle East Peace.
The first two oils in the Middle East Peace series were still lifes. War is messy while still lifes are an artistic attempt to bring order to the world.
No longer satisfied to paint objects alone, I painted myself in the process of painting still lifes. I used mirrors to reveal what is hidden, to suggest a passage through time to another place where something is about to happen. The situation in the Middle East is like a tunnel of mirrors. Just as you think you have a grasp on the situation, you turn and realize that nothing is what it appears to be; peace seems always just out of reach, like the image in a mirror.
Objects and clothing from around the Middle East sit together in these works, in an atmosphere of balance and harmony. Exploring a new color palette, I find the earthy, desert tones as warm and inviting as the people and cultures I have met in the Middle East. To this day, there is still turmoil in the Semitic corner of the world, but at least Arabic and Israeli objects can peacefully coexist on my canvases, with a little “American intervention.”