A soldier's journey from paratrooper to painter

It took being exposed to the ravages of war for Marc Provisor to find his passion in art.

 One work from Marc Provisor's exhibition 'Hashiveinu.' (photo credit: MARC PROVISOR)
One work from Marc Provisor's exhibition 'Hashiveinu.'
(photo credit: MARC PROVISOR)

The award-winning Israeli-American artist served as a paratrooper for the IDF from 1981-1984, then chief of security for Judea and Samaria, and director of security for the One Israel Fund,.

Originally from Philadelphia, Provisor began his artistic journey as a paratrooper during the Lebanese War of 1982. Searching for an outlet of comfort, Provisor quickly found his peace in art.

“My wife pushed me and she’s actually the one behind the show, making all of this happen."

Marc Provisor

“I came back from a particularly nasty incident and a friend of mine had given me a set of watercolors. I basically sat down with this watercolor sheet and I started painting what I went through in the evenings and I felt good. Some people get high or drunk, and for me, that didn’t work. But this really helped me,” Proviso said in a phone conversation.

Provisor returned to the United States post-army service on vacation, and enrolled in the The School of Visual Arts in New York City. Under the mentorship of Marc Klionsky, Provisor found quick success as an artist in the city, but left his life as a painter behind to return to Israel during the Gulf War. Soon after, Provisor, while still actively painting, got married, moved to the West Bank, opened an art studio and became security director of the settlement Shiloh.

 One work from Marc Provisor's exhibition 'Hashiveinu.' (credit: MARC PROVISOR) One work from Marc Provisor's exhibition 'Hashiveinu.' (credit: MARC PROVISOR)

Art: interrupted

When the Second Intifada hit, Provisor put his passion for art aside to focus on his home: Israel.

“I was quite operational and we’re dealing with a few attacks a day… So essentially, I stopped painting,” he said.

Years later, Provisor decided to get back into painting, appearing in various exhibitions, shows, and competitions. That process has resulted in his new exhibition, Hashiveinu, which is on display June 27 (Monday) in Shiloh.

The exhibition is divided into two sections: the first half of the exhibition has landscape portraits that highlight the beauty of Israel and the second is a reflection of his past as a paratrooper for the IDF and as a security expert.

Hashiveinu will officially launch Provisor back into the art world, as he winds up his professional security career.

“It’s my way of starting my path out of the security world, back into art,” he said.

This exhibition showcases not just Provisor’s talents, but features works inspired by his experiences defending Israel and the aftermath of the incidents he’s been involved in.

“If you come into the first hall, you see landscapes, which is something I really love to paint, and in the back is, we’ll call it ‘Marc’s Darkside,’ where I express things through various incidents that I’ve gone through in the security world.”

The thematic symbolism in place creates a balance between beauty and trauma throughout the exhibit, with its transition from one to the other. Provisor creates this balance in his artwork, made in his safe space studio by his family home. He also credits his jump back into the art world to this exhibit  to his family. 

“My wife pushed me and she’s actually the one behind the show, making all of this happen.”