Artists > Naomi Mendel

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Mendel's creative process originates from the deconstruction of the gaze. She starts with a dis-formation of all the elements and parts visible to the eye, dismantling them to their particles – the line or single spot. Mendel refrains from addressing the composition as a whole and is drawn instead into its numerous parts, exploring these disintegrating elements as if they were autonomic and independent.

As part of this deconstruction and the subsequent reconstruction, Mendel has found herself thematically exploring the broad consequences that daily objects have on our lives: consumer culture, excess and waste, and even contempt. These objects make her feel distant and enchanted at the same time. In contrary to the attributes that plastic bottles, bags, waste, food residues etc., have in our lives, in her paintings they become, enigmatic and powerful hybrids, completely independent from the original object being documented.

The life span of a still life is short, that is why it was called "Nature Morte" in Italian – dead nature. On the other hand, the longevity of the gaze, especially the artistic one, is significantly longer. This conflict, between the visibility of the objects on the canvas and their transient nature inherent to their functionality in life, is the driving force behind Mendel's work.

In many of her works, she examine this conflict by closing in on the object or painting its reflection. Dealing with this reflection brings to light various laws of materiality related to the reflective properties of the object – encouraging her to choose objects that contain the dynamic energy of fracturing wholes.

In this early stage of the process, Mendel is the "director": choosing a subject, an angle, a frame, plotting her tenor and my thematic goals. Next, she becomes the "laborer": reconstructing the elements that she previously dismantled, in order to create a new whole on the canvas. Mendel work for months on each painting, thus allowing every fragment of it to receive an "independent" pictorial treatment as if it was a complete whole on to itself. The harmony of the shapes, colors, abstract connections and fragmented nature of the objects are visible at first glance, but are somewhat elusive. The eye perceives the painting as a homogeneous whole, only delving into its different segments in the second gaze. The distanced gaze at her works displays the complete composition, while the closer one (which is hardly impossible on the computer screen) reveals an almost abstract painting.

It is actually this "casual", surface-driven gaze that Mendel wishes to use in order to deepen and refine the painting's message. Like the process that her own conscious undergoes, she aspires to have the spectator's gaze shattered into numerous pieces that will eventually reconnect to form a freshly integral whole.

|Dark Lettuce, 2014, oil on canvas, 80x60cm|Watermelon, 2014, oil on canvas, 50x40cm|Long studio no.3, 2013, oil on canvas, 90x130cm|Curtain, 2013, oil on canvas, 65x80 cm|Fish 2013, oil on canvas, 150x160cm|Pot no.6 2012, oil on canvas, 150x130cm|Nylonchicken 2012, oil on canvas, 25x30cm|Banana 2011, oil on canvas, 130x100cm|Lettuc 2011, oil on canvas, 130x200cm|Studio 2011, oil on canvas, 20x30cm|Two people 2011, oil on canvas,25x35cm|Wood 2011, oil on canvas, 180x90cm|Chicken Legs 2009, oil on canvas, 100x150cm|Gloves 2009, oil on wood, 50x30cm|Pot no.3 2009, oil on tin, 45x60cm|Self Portrait no.3 2009, oil on canvas, 100x130cm|Self Portrait on shampoo bottle 6, oil on canvas, 20x30cm|Gun 2008, oil on wood, 45x57cm|The Bottom 2008, oil on canvas, 40x30cm
Dark Lettuce, 2014, oil on canvas, 80x60cm
Watermelon, 2014, oil on canvas, 50x40cm
Long studio no.3, 2013, oil on canvas, 90x130cm
Curtain, 2013, oil on canvas, 65x80 cm
Fish 2013, oil on canvas, 150x160cm
Pot no.6 2012, oil on canvas, 150x130cm
Nylonchicken 2012, oil on canvas, 25x30cm
Banana 2011, oil on canvas, 130x100cm
Lettuc 2011, oil on canvas, 130x200cm
Studio 2011, oil on canvas, 20x30cm
Two people 2011, oil on canvas,25x35cm
Wood 2011, oil on canvas, 180x90cm
Chicken Legs 2009, oil on canvas, 100x150cm
Gloves 2009, oil on wood, 50x30cm
Pot no.3 2009, oil on tin, 45x60cm
Self Portrait no.3 2009, oil on canvas, 100x130cm
Self Portrait on shampoo bottle 6, oil on canvas, 20x30cm
Gun 2008, oil on wood, 45x57cm
The Bottom 2008, oil on canvas, 40x30cm