11 novembre – 20 décembre 2013
Collages and oil paintings
Former EPFL student Rebecca Mizrahi returns to her Alma Mater after many years in order to share her vibrant collages and abstract oil paintings
Although Rebecca Mizrahi never worked as an architect, the years that she studied architecture at EPFL had a much greater impact on her life and artistic style than she could ever have imagined.
Though having been surrounded by artistic family members all her life, she emerged as an artist herself at a later stage with a style all her own. Whereas she improved her technique at atelier Terre de Sienne in Lausanne earlier, these days Rebecca can be found weekly at the studio of Bernard Henri Desrousseaux in Lutry.
From the beginning the EPFL years influenced her artistic activities. They gave her a vision of the outcome of a piece and a sense of composition: prior to creating her collages she always roughly draws an impression of the arrangement of all the separate images and of how they should end up together. This may seem a straightforward task, but blending hundreds of assorted pictures into a meaningful harmony truly requires a keen insight into the subject, structure, and planning of all the different pieces of her artistic puzzle.
Though Rebecca’s roots go back to Istanbul some of her cousins are living in New York City and from the time she began to visit them as a young adult she has been fond of Manhattan. Looking for something to hold on to in a time of personal distress she began to create paper collages on canvas several years ago. She needed to bring out a place that was dear to her and that made her feel happy. Instinctively she began putting together the memories of a place she so loved: New York.
“Those who know me well told me that the first collage I ever did called ‘Staying alive’ really is Rebecca” she states. Could it be a coincidence that it was an architectural piece? Apparently not: “I did not just put carefully selected paper images together. I had a vision of the way the town had to turn out,” she remembers. Thus, she constructed her very own metropolis with great care and sense of humor. What looks like a very modern building from a distance appears to be a picture of stacked perfume bottles, turned 90 degrees for a vertical effect. A piece of a retro-design espresso machine is a whimsical nod at the Chrysler building. Stacks of books become skyscrapers, images of densely packed traffic become street-rivers of steel energy. The viewer is invited to feast in Rebecca’s magical city.
In another, much more abstract collage of a few tree trunks against a backdrop of a waterfall the blend of clippings and color make it look like an oil piece. The paper shadings flow as smoothly as paint.
The material for her paper art comes out of publications such as her favorite Madame Figaro, architectural periodicals and some other feminine magazines like Elle. Two years ago Rebecca began to paint abstract works of oil on canvas and her style has been a gentle going back and forth between clear- cut paper and softer paints ever since. A recent work of a designer window in the house of a Florida-based friend was characterized as ‘Hopperian’ in style but definitely carries her own signature.
Other subjects in her work are colorful flowers and jewelry, cityscapes in burnt orange and red hues, and wavy oil abstracts juxta posing very light and very dark tones that create stark contrasts.
“Even though I am living in Switzerland my art work will always be inspired by the Oriental roots that connect me with the people I love,” she smiles. In that respect Rebecca’s creations, in their own, shining way make for a full circle.
Enjoy the show!
Gusta van Dobbenburgh
Collages and oil paintings
Show: November 11 – December 20, 2013
Vernissage: Thursday, November 14, 18h00 – 20h00
Location: ELA 010 Info: http://astie.epfl.ch/ or: 021 691 1188