Solo Exhibition by Hila Karabelnikov-Paz //
Hila Karabelnikov-Paz observes the Sheraton beach area as a microcosm of the life of the urban orthodox and religious community. This series of paintings, unlike her previous work, deals with the daily routine of religious society and with the relationships established between women on the beach.
In this exhibition the artist continues to use her unique technique. Her paintings are composed of layers of colored masking tape which does not undergo any processing, but rather is placed piece over piece, creating a complete, sculpture-like work. The repeating patterns and the lack of hierarchy create an image in which every detail receives attention.
Evident in all the paintings is a critical observation of the community, in the space contrasting between holy and secular. In the piece entitled Women Digging in Sand, their activity is portrayed as intimate and provokes sexual connotations. It is clear she devoted a lot of work to her portrayals of bodies or of the textures of clothes, although wearing of attractive clothes is forbidden. The implied, hinted-at scenes represent Karabelnikov-Paz's ambivalence towards this secular public space. These works emphasize iconographic symbols of contemporary clothes and modern objects that infiltrate the religious world.
In The Crows, Karabelnikov-Paz chooses to create a huge puzzle in which the presence of the crows is a metaphor for the social situations that previously existed on the beach, and inspires a sense of the battle over the feminine image and its externalization in a complex society, while using the crow as an analogy for the human and the feminine displayed in the exhibition.
In another series, the artist observes the beach environment. In these works the urban space is given a holy appearance, in contrast to the treatment of the closed beach space, as a type of inversion. Holiness appears in areas created by humans, while nature is revealed as a regular, everyday place. Despite the bold colors of the works, the exhibition is encompassed by a strong sense of melancholy. The streets of the city of Bnei Brak seen from the window of a house are clear of people, a shore strip during a storm, and the burned out skies that appear in all the painting in this series all tell of a religious experience in a secular space, and the sensations that urbanity arouse in the artist.