Jonathan Kis-Lev's ''Love For Two'' - Montefiore Auction House

Uploaded by KisLevArt on 20.02.2012

My name is Jonathan Kis-Lev, and I am delighted to introduce you to my painting
"Love for Two",
which will be auctioned at the Montefiore Auction House
this coming spring, 2012.
This painting is really one of my favorites.
It was painted at a very crucial moment in my career in 2008,
when I was changing my whole style of painting.
Let me tell you a few things about this painting:
First of all, it was painted on black.
Just about a year earlier I began to paint on black,
and you can really see underneath everything the very
prominent layer of black.
The thickness of the colors, the amazing impact that they create,
is simply due to the black underneath.
So this was one of the earliest paintings with a black background.
When I painted this painting I painted it upside down,
so the sky, which you can see now, was actually on the bottom,
and the pomegranates were painted up here,
and the reason I started to do it back then was in order to create this feeling of
"warpness", like things were a bit like Edvard Munch,
a bit twisted.
The fact that I painted it upside down is especially shown here in this chair,
in which you can see that the angle is just wrong -
the angle of this van-Gogh-style chair is just wrong,
which is part of the magic and the beauty of this painting,
in a very naïve style.
The painting is named "Love for Two", resonating, or echoing,
what's in the painting, which are two chairs, and two halves of a pomegranate;
together they are one pomegranate.
So it's love for two, and in many ways I invite the viewers to come
and join this beautiful scenery and sit on these chairs.
This beautiful landscape is painted in Jaffa. My studio at the time was
very close to the Clock Tower, which you can see over here,
and I remember that oftentimes I would just walk and look for inspiration around the clock
or around the Saint Peter's Church over here, just at the very top of Old Jaffa,
and in many ways it kinda shows you the old part of Jaffa and Tel Aviv.
Tel Aviv is in the horizon and you can see all the towers,
especially my favorite one, the first tower,
the Shalom Tower, over here, once again very crooked.
And you can see the details of the old clock and the old,
over-one-hundred-years-old church, the Saint Peter's Church,
so you can really see the difference, or the tension,
between the old history, the history that we are trying to preserve,
and the beautiful new Tel Aviv,
the city that grew out of the sands and has become the largest metropolis in Israel.
The sky, as you can see, has different colors:
there is cobalt blue over here, and cerulean blue, and a bit of Prussian blue.
All these hues create sky that is very very intense in its colors.
Another thing that's changed since then is that I've kinda tamed myself a little bit.
Back then I felt very free with my signature, and big,
and I also signed both in Hebrew and in English,
and the signature was with capital letters without my famous line over here.
Most of the paintings from this period, like
"Pomegranates in the Galilee" or my famous "Romance in Jaffa",
have been sold, and this was one of the only paintings that I've kept,
because in many ways it was a turning point.
It was then that I discovered my very authentic gold line,
that you can see if you go underneath everything, if you go into the margins, into the outlines,
you can see this very thin gold line.
When one buys the original oil-on-canvas painting -
not the mixed-media paintings or the giclée paintings -
one really gets the benefit of the gold.
As you move around the painting the gold responds to you,
and you feel not only the textures - the thick thick textures of the oil painting -
but also the beautiful gold.
It is now in my studio in Jerusalem, and I'm really excited to see
who is going to be the buyer of this painting at this coming auction.
It's going to be my first auction at a large auction house in Israel -
the Montefiore Auction House - and it's a big honor for me,
and I am very excited to see where it goes to.