Tova Tahat Tova.'>

Cheek on high street

It's difficult to miss the large painting of a nude in the window of Tova Osman's Gallery in Tel Aviv - part of the new art exhibition Tova Tahat Tova.

By ELLA LEVITT
November 16, 2006 16:09
2 minute read.
Cheek on high street

tal slutzker 298.88. (photo credit: )

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

It's difficult to miss the large painting of a nude in the window of Tova Osman's Gallery on Ben-Yehuda Street in Tel Aviv. This eye-grabbing yet well-crafted oil - the latest in 20-year-old painter Tal Slutzker's oeuvre - forms a one-painting exhibition called Tova Tahat Tova. Unlike some contemporary artists, Slutzker continues the noble lineage of high art, particularly the tradition of figurative painting. Like most artists through Western art history, Slutzker is compelled by the nude figure but also likes to spin off old masterworks that are not nudes. For several years, Slutzker studied under Zachar Sherman, who trained him well enough for Gil Goldfine to begin his review of the then 13-year-old in 2000 with the word "remarkable." Next, Slutzker painted under the tutelage of Israel Hirschberg, famous for his style of naturalistic painting that unabashedly asserts itself as a formal object - works that can be viewed as Modernist experiments with color and composition, despite their recognizable imagery. For the painting in the gallery window, however, Slutzker didn't study a painting in a museum or even his own, observable three-dimensional reality. Instead, the oil painting that Tova Tahat Tova is based on is an image that Slutzker found on an Internet porn site. This painting, which Slutzker renders primarily in black and white with almost indiscernible hints of yellow, blue and red, features a female nude lying face down in a bathtub. Pushing into the foreground - forcefully projecting closest to the viewer - is a relatively large but lovely tahat, or derriere. The transparent water appears to caress her body like fabric, playing a game of "reveal and conceal" that recalls the folds of fabric hanging off ancient Greek statuary such as The Three Graces, or even Boticelli's reinvention of the type in his Renaissance painting Primavera. Yet, while Slutzker doesn't conceal much, his flat zones of rich, velvety black masterfully imply depth in an uncomfortable manner. Slutzker says he considers sex an apt metaphor for the process of art making, the "search for a satisfying composition" paralleling the desire for sexual gratification. Curator Yuval Caspi chose the exhibition's title, recognizing the multitude of possible readings and interpretations of Tova Tahat Tova. The gallery director, Tova Osman, a dignified yet fun-loving grandmother, was at first a bit uneasy with the possibility that the title could refer to her tahat . However, as Osman nobly notes: "Yuval is the curator of the window for six months. He can put whatever he wants there and can call it whatever he wishes." Caspi claims he chose the title for its primary connotation of doing favors - one favor in exchange for another - since this is how the art world operates. Tova Tahat Tova places a bold, sensual image in the visual consciousness of busy Ben-Yehuda street, inverting the convention of established Tel Aviv galleries, which typically present a blank fa ade. The art world usually prefers not to place art on a street-level window alongside shoes and other banal commodities. But Slutzker doesn't mind if his provocative piece stops traffic, declaring: "The thing that's interesting is the viewer's reaction, not the artist's intention." Tova Tahat Tova continues through November 30. Tova Osman Gallery: Rehov Ben-Yehuda 100, Tel Aviv.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Sarah Silverman
August 26, 2014
Jewish women take home gold at 2014 Emmys

By JTA