Interview with Aviv Benn: An existentialist dreamlike world that goes beyond each canvas

Janice K. Johnson

Aviv Benn has not long ago joined Increase Art, bringing her expressionistic operates to the system. Her paintings are a visual universe starring symbolic archetypes and fantastical sorts that pop up, reappear, and incorporate to formulate the dreamlike globe they inhabit. By repeating the exact same imagery more than quite a few canvases, she informs a narrative that stretches far outside of the boundaries of a singular painting. Weaving new interactions alongside one another, she constructs a vivid, interconnecting fantasy during her operates.

Aviv in her studio with numerous items from her fantastical dreamlike globe (Photograph: Omer Gaash)

 

How would you describe the art you produce?

Paintings, largely oil on canvas.

Cosmos Inhaler, 2021, oil, spray paint, linocut and wax medium on canvas, 70 x 60cm

 

Notify us a little bit about the inspiration behind your observe

Anytime men and women ask me the dilemma each and every painter dreads, “So.. what is your work about?” or “Can you tell me about what you paint?” I jokingly say “How substantially the planet sucks.” I guess it’s my way of indicating how I deal with existential dread, the uncertainty of staying, and this existing era and its many upheavals. That’s the inspiration driving my function in phrases of subject matter subject. As a painter, though, I test to force matters ahead from a apply/medium-dependent perspective, to make additional surprising do the job, and to make every piece a little better than the final. That’s what conjures up me and retains me occupied in the studio.

Not Haste Into A Landscape, 2021, oil, spray paint, oil pastels on canvas, 65 x 65cm

 

How do you arrive up with the ideas for your artworks?

The themes in my get the job done just take decades to discover, and each system of function reveals an additional side of a globe I am making little bit by little bit. Each sequence explores a set of symbols, creatures, and painterly environments that explain to a cohesive still abstract story. The imagery released in each individual series is intuitive and operates as a distorted mirror of our planet. Painting is a medium that defies words and phrases (just request painters how a lot they loathe writing all those artist statements, hehe). There is something elusive about it, like trying to try to remember a desire on waking up. So in the same way I struggle to demonstrate the thoughts guiding my perform, they are manifestations of feelings and views that float in my head for a lengthy time, constructing up and then turning out to be pictures on the canvas.

The Horror of Our Graphic Will Unravel, 2022, oil on canvas, 75 x 75cm

 

How has your follow evolved in the latest years?

I employed to make perform extremely quickly and pretty compulsively and impatiently. I would also count a lot on humour and even include text in my work. Given that my perform offers with existential themes, I felt I experienced to inject humour to make my get the job done much easier to course of action and interact with. Bit by bit I moved absent from the textual content and cartoony get the job done, and in the last 18 months or so, due to the fact transferring to London, I have tried to shell out more time with each and every piece, make my do the job additional complicated, and enable go of employing humour as a defence mechanism (in my function anyhow ha!).

Age of Glass, 2021, Oil, oil pastels on canvas, 75 x 75cm

 

What is an normal day like in your studio?

I like maintaining a routine when it comes to possessing a studio observe, which will help me to carry construction to the chaos that is art-building. So I generally arrive in the early morning and do the job right up until the early night, with a single speedy split for lunch. I view my studio as a peaceful and peaceful workspace, in which I can target and paint unlike other artists, I do not genuinely “hang” in my studio, I rarely invite buddies above, and I never nap or examine in the studio. For me, it is strictly a place to make work.

Aviv’s workstation in her studio

 

How do you go about making every single function?

I have a tendency to perform intuitively, and rarely sketch prior to creating a new portray. I ordinarily begin each individual piece with a vibrant abstract ground and respond to the designs and gestures that are “established” on the canvas. Then I little by little define the pictures through the portray system and respond to the world that is created in entrance of me on the canvas, until finally I determine the piece is completed. The symbols and imagery that notify my paintings also acquire intuitively, and their reappearance in numerous canvases makes a narrative that stretches around a series of is effective.

Sights of Nocturnal Melt away, 2022, oil, oil pastels on canvas, 130 x 130cm

 

What/Who are your crucial influences?

As a nerdy painter, I am definitely inspired by the work of other painters, particularly gutsy painters who force the boundaries of the medium and make daring, thoughtful, and unsettling function. I sense that portray, a lot more than any other medium, definitely follows the plan of “standing on the shoulders of giants”, and each individual portray is produced in mild of or in spite of the abundant heritage of painting. In my personal observe, if I glimpse for inspiration, or if I get stuck attempting to resolve a painting, I locate the options inside of the operate of painters I recognize, or go to a selection in a museum I like, and this usually does the trick. A further main affect is studying poetry. I come from a spouse and children of writers and my grandfather was an set up poet, who would usually inspire me to examine and analyse poems rising up. Lots of of my titles are motivated by poems and I see them as one more “key” to examining my paintings. Right before setting up a new collection I would read through poetry that I feel will notify the perform in a way I are not able to seriously make clear, but feels appropriate. The moment a piece is concluded I will go to the same poems all over again, in purchase to title the perform, which in a way is “completing” the approach of making.

The Working day Empties Its Pictures, 2021, oil, oil pastels, spray paint on canvas, 127 x 127cm

 

Who are some Increase Art artists with perform you are having fun with at the second?

I truly like Sabrina Shah’s function, her expressive and chaotic paintings are powerful and neat in a punk sort of way, I also love Olga Shcheblykina textured, dark, and humorist creations, and Christine Lyon’s vivid, complicated and intricate bodily do the job.

Aviv’s performs displayed in her studio (@enamel_dream)

 

Are you at the moment functioning on any exciting new tasks?

I am at present in the approach of finalising a new entire body of operate and I hope I could expose additional specifics before long, keep tuned!

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