Featured Artist

Zhenya Gershman

Artist Statement

I hold questions more important than answers.  To ask a question—is to wonder, to open a door, to see the old in the new way, to engage in a conversation, to embark on a journey without preconceived destination, to discover the unimaginable, to peer into the dark, to be blinded by the light, to challenge the taboos, to follow the destiny.  My recent body of work Graven Image is inspired by the Sefer Yetzirah, known as The Book of Creation, one of the earliest surviving books on Jewish mysticism.  The word Graven itself is directly related to the very root of artistic creation: “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Genesis 2:7, King James Bible).  Graven Image is thus a mirror through which I invite the viewer to explore the world filled with the “breath of life” together.
I merge traditional oil painting with unorthodox sculpture technique application.  Experimenting with ceramic tools allows me to literally carve out the material and physically engrave into the body of paint.  As a result, a sculptural painting—a hybrid form of art is developed stimulating the viewer to experience two-dimensional art in a surprisingly tactile and phenomenological way.  This technique facilitates a kind of psychological archaeology in portraiture, challenging the core of a viewer’s perception of the very border separating what we call our reality and that of art.

Artist's Resume


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