Irit Levy was a painter before she became a mosaic artist.
She is almost unable to recall a time in her life when she didn’t paint. One of her memories takes place at around age five, when her teacher called her mother to show her Irit’s paintings that uniquely stood out from those of the other children.
“I kept painting women with yellowish high hairstyle (like Marge Simpson..) and perspective houses with flat roofs. I can remember how amused I was hearing them discussing my pictures and I just couldn't be bother to tell them that I was painting my mother (who had a blond Audrey Hepburn coiffure) and our house which had a flat roof...”
Irit spent most of her painting career creating what she refers to as, “big ‘dirty’ abstracts”. Through the years she did a lot of experimental art with other media as well….printmaking, casting, pottery, illustrations, but she didn’t try mosaic art until just a couple of years ago.
Cafe Au Lait
She colorfully describes her exposure to mosaics as an experience in which she was “vacuumed into the medium”. She noted that this experience was unlike anything that had transpired before. She quickly became an enthusiast, all but giving up the other forms of art making.
Irit says she is driven by the mosaic process itself. She creates precise mosaic art that is skillfully crafted with obvious passion. The process seems intuitive, as that of a painter, with emphasis on strong shadows and representations of reflective light. It is, without a doubt, a tribute to color, texture and form.
This artist doesn’t necessarily like to tell people what informs her art. It is her contention that once the art is completed and out in the world, her thoughts and drive are irrelevant. She trusts that the art has a life of its own and that it forms a personal experience of expression between itself and the viewer.
Irit is a woman of the world whose remarkable mosaics show a diversity of mind and spirit. They defy the limitations of the hard tesserae to take on the appearance of a softer medium, paint in the third dimension, perhaps. One can almost see the “brush strokes” or, in the case of her cartoon-like pieces, pen and ink, created by her unique applications of vitreous glass, marble, ceramic tiles, stained glass, pebbles, beads and even sand. She is inspired by many things…by photographs, paintings and objects that she sees in the world, et al, and she always manages to give these things her signature twist, converting them into lively, energetic works of art.
Her portrait work is very strong. Irit manages to capture her subjects in comfortable, lifelike poses, even in abstraction.
I find her cartoon images particularly endearing. Could it be because I relate a little too closely, perhaps? (Yikes! Is this me??)
Irit Levy states, “In August 2006 I escaped from the unbearable heat into one of the very many beautiful shops in the SoHo, NY. This escape changed the path of my art. It was the amazing Sicis showroom. A few months later I put aside my brushes and paints, turned off my kiln, stored my clay and dived into the wonderful world of mosaics.
“ ….and the rest is history..er…herstory.
Please visit the Irit Levy web site by clicking HERE.
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