Thursday, 12 April 2012

Celebrating a friend

I am writing this short post to congratulate my friend Roni Taharlev for being selected for the BP Portrait Award 2012 with her Self Portrait.

I wrote here about how I met Roni two years ago in Tuscany. Since then we stayed in touch and she went on to show a series of marvellous head studies and self portraits at Gallery Livia in Jerusalem at the end of last year.

I am a great fan of Roni's work, and I had the privilege of handling this self portrait. The work is terribly strong and the tactile and ragged surface the painting has when seen in real life is a delight for the eyes.
The image of the head is remote, coming out through layers and layers of paint. At the same time the tension of the slow movements, the concentration in making the deliberate and sensitive gestures that reveal the form are evident and mesmerizing.  The head is barely contained in the board, almost squeezed in the space and this compression adds intensity to the work.
Well done Roni and well done to the judges for highlighting this gem.

 Roni's work is deep and serious and engages with the past and the work of the old masters in a very intelligent way;  she is a fascinating and engaging woman. I am lucky to be one of her friends and I am looking forward to see her at the show in London !

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