The Saloona Bar-Lounge in Jaffa always feels like a party - in part because there are often edgy contemporary art exhibitions there warranting a celebration, such as the collection of works by Orit Ben Hayon currently on view. For some people, it's inherently exciting when a young, quirky female artist has a solo show in a public venue, but even without Saloona's festive music and alcohol buzz, artist Orit Ben Hayon's work looks very strong.
Tucked into Saloona's carefully designed but relaxed environment, viewers will find roughly a dozen of Ben Hayon's acrylic and pastel canvases - renderings of boys (both "little" boys and "boyfriends"), what appears to be the artist's own body, as well as more abstract pictures of ideas like "cancer." Subject matter aside, all are rendered with a strong color palette and an aggressive, graphic sensibility. Beyond post-feminist dogma, there's a simple satisfaction in seeing the work of a gutsy girl-artist who appears to know who she is, what she wants and how to express it through color and form.
Saloona's always a pleasant place to have a drink or listen to music, and first-time visitors will also enjoy seeing the Roth/Tevet design group's work, such as their famous loofa chandelier and the m lange of rear-view mirrors hanging around the bathroom sink.
Orit Ben Hayon's paintings and drawings will be on view through May 1. Saloona is in Jaffa, 17 Tirzah St. Telephone: (03) 518-1719. Open evenings.