Art review: The illusion of time and space

Raanana Cityscape (photo credit: Courtesy)
Raanana Cityscape
(photo credit: Courtesy)
A graphic designer by profession, Estee Kreisman has made a courageous move into the arena of fine art by calling upon her acquired and innate talents to create reconstructed visual documents of near and distant vistas. Moving along the urban and suburban landscape, she has been inspired by both the natural and man-made panoramas that arouse in her a passion to turn these views into personalized pictures. In today's art world, the use of digital technology, photography, video and electronic projections have become for many young purveyors of the arts a replacement for charcoal, pencils, brush and paint. Art academies have all but abandoned classes in figure drawing and naturalistic painting. The days when artists had to recycle reality into something fresh and unsullied have been replaced by a phalanx of art school graduates whose retinas have been forever attached to the lens of a cam recorder. Kreisman, who uses a powerful computer as her primary innovative tool, comes from a traditional art school background, a fact that saves her pictures from becoming mere photographic documents. Having studied at Pratt Institute in New York, Kreisman's knowledge of materials and techniques, as well as her foundation in the history of art, provides her with additional backup when she begins to organize and compose her segmented images. Kreisman starts by photographing a site from several angles and in different lighting conditions. After downloading scores of images onto her computer, she begins to cut, crop and paste, enlarge and reduce and allow segments to advance and recede into and out of the picture plane. There is an element of cubism in her reconstructed spaces, as she calls them, simply because she is deconstructing reality and reconstructing it into something else. The something else is still identifiable, but its personality has been changed by artistic methodology. After much deliberation and alterations, she prints the completed pictorial fusion onto canvas and proceeds to work on the surface by brushing color and textures in acrylics or oils to enhance the overall look and give it the individuality it requires. Ra'anana Cityscape is a dynamic, strongly hued view of a metropolitan façade with out high rises and malls: simply a neighborhood where streets and buildings converge and disappear into the horizon and re-emerge as they fall into clumps of bright viridian trees and shrubs. The warmth of the architectural elements comprising the middle ground is complemented by a background of pale cerulean and violet winsome clouds, several of which are cut into uncommonly harsh rectangular shapes. The entire foreground of the composition is dissected into a fluid arrangement of cubes and rectangles of varying colors and different grains. The eye simply skims across the design with ease as Kreisman has used her background to blueprint a visual anthology of a place where people live. A second panel, Yellow Trees, is nothing more than a garden path recycled three times in different hours and with slightly divergent lighting effects. People caught in the act of riding a bicycle or walking a dog address the concept of shifting time while the natural environs of lush trees, shrubbery and grass represent stability and the stopping of time. But as Kreisman is interested in reconstructing space, time change must play an essential part in the complexity of her art. In Yellow Trees, harsh shadows hint at alternate lighting conditions, as does the same strolling woman - as she appears twice - and as do the shuffled squares of different sizes of changing greens and yellows. And the single black dog in the panel's lower left-hand corner hints at a family presence without seeing human beings. The luminous quality of the surfaces in Kreisman's large panels is obvious, but the viewer must search deep down to clarify the differential between the macro and the micro. As someone once said: It's in the details m'lady, in the details. Ephrat Gallery, Rehov Gordon 21, Tel Aviv. (03) 523-7624