Chayim Shvarzblat graduated from the Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Paris in 1979. He has exhibited at thirty solo exhibitions, and at more than one hundred exhibitions at home and abroad. He has been awarded many times for his work. He has directed various art projects and collaborated on international fine arts projects. Chayim Shvarzblat began his studies at the New York School of Art. His artworks can be found in many public and private spaces, as well as in private collections throughout the US and around the world. He occasionally works in design, short film, illustration and production of illustrated books, conducting art workshops and individual art lessons for prospective students of higher art schools.
On this occasion, we spoke with the award-winning painter Chayim Shvarzblat. He spoke openly about the pros and cons of being an artist, the existence of future artist generations, and about mastering the knowledge and skills of both traditional tools and new technological tools.
I paint like I breathe. Being the same, and in constant change. So, I entered the world of painting and I stayed on that path. I’m not some “based artist”. I don’t belong anywhere. At least that’s how I feel, and the feeling is perfect. There is no drawer I will be tucked into.
Very early on, as a boy, I defined myself as a painter. From the very beginning, I painted on paper, on benches, on walls, and in 1979 I graduated in fine arts.
Today, I live my childhood dream wrapped in this crazy time we live in and I didn’t count on when I dreamed that dream. Formal education is being pushed by some as an imperative, as an alibi. For me, going to art school meant leaving the trenches and throwing the gun to get a brush. It was so long ago, I almost don’t remember.
I think the job of a painter is the loneliest job. With it, I communicate with the world, and art frees me from solitude. It is a vicious circle.
I want to do something that rarely happens in art. Something that leaves the observer out of his comfort zone when he stands in front of my painting and makes him wonder – is such thing possible.
That’s where I try to survive and create. That idea is what keeps me going, though I have to admit, it’s not easy. Almost every day I ask myself many questions, the only answer to which is creation. This daily ritual gives me a reason to live. The ritual of constant learning, changing, choosing the hardest path, constantly asking questions, with a clear head and faith.
Inspiration is music. In silence, I could not bear the brush in my hands. Inspiration is the written word. Inspiration is in history, in religion, in almost everything. Say my neighbor, who can encourage me to create five new paintings. In empty streets and deserted cities. Often at night before bed, I make sketches in my head for future ideas and pictures. The paintings come alone, sometimes turning into dreams, and sometimes going to the canvas. Inspiration is in art history. In everything and everyone. Faces are like books. The face fills the lifespan, that relentless tide of life, and before the water recedes, I note everything in color. Figure as inspiration. Traditional painting as a starting point.
I use every material possible in painting. All the techniques. After a long time I went back to oil as a medium. I don’t have a favorite color. My paintings are like colored diaries telling me when I was happy, when I was afraid, when I was beep hypnotized … when I was hungry.
When I succeed, I will be twice as happy, for those who doubted and those who believed.