Dor Confino – Artists Statement
My paintings take place on huge, massive canvases. I employ paint, glue and industrial building supplies, working with my bare hands – no gloves and no brushes. Some of my works are abstract, but all are multilayered. A close look reveals the layering, the movement and the intensity with which I paint. My profession as an architect has familiarized me with the construction materials I select for integrating into my artworks. Some of my paintings become more sculptural, almost reliefs, with the addition of metals, nails, wood and bamboo. The material and formal processing of the spiritual contents of the works are their test.
I have chosen to integrate my intimate biography into the works, my responses to sociopolitical and public issues and events taking place throughout the world, from the point of view of someone who is present and realistic, yet optimistic, suffused with hope.
My contexts and inspiration are personal, yet on the other hand, I find inspiration from entering the dialogue with scenes from art history, mythology, the Bible and Christian iconography. For example, my work Walking on Water has associations to faith and hope. Art conducts an internal and artistic dialogue between the personal and the public. As I see it, if we believe in ourselves, anything can happen – even walking on water.
My deep faith in myself has enabled my personal processes to happen. Thus, I believe that all is possible on the global level, as well.
As an artist, active architect and career woman, I have succeeded in setting a very high bar for my professional and personal objectives – and have achieved all I set out to do. One difficult challenge, one which is not so obvious, was my desire to become a mother. I underwent an extremely difficult and lengthy process, but succeeded. Now I am continuing along my artistic and life path, constantly learning and developing. In recent years, I have been focused on researching Christian iconography, its global implications, and its links to the spiritual, to Judaism and to universalism.
My latest works engage with the image of the “postmodern Jesus” bringing the Gospel of peace between cultures. In our era of increasing violence all of the world, in the Middle East and in Israel, there is a place for the one who preaches a unifying gospel, a symbol of salvation. The appearance of Jesus in my works means bringing him back to his birthplace – the Land of Israel. His presence in my artworks is a step concretising spiritual loss, a crying out for a Saviour for the entire world at this time.
It seems to me that world events are moving between extreme fundamentalism and a quest for spiritual calm and positive energy. Fundamentalism is presenting itself as the most important religious spirituality which the world needs now, instead of a gentle pluralism striving to become a firm part of the world. There is a huge gap between the two, generating new events.
The presence of Jesus in my work as an Israeli artist and citizen of the world calls for a new cultural observation and rethinking of “The Gospel.” The works on display lead the viewer through a sensory experience which raises issues and thoughts.
I believe that art is freedom, first and foremost. Freedom of expression. Freedom of thought. An island of freedom.
I believe in addressing difficulties and the current harsh reality with one’s gaze ahead to the future, a future in which my children, and all the world’s children will be able to live in a better place, full of light and hope, just as UNESCO declared the Year 2015 as the Year of Light.
Dor Confino 2015