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Tamar Assaf

Our first encounter with animals happens early in our childhood. This first introduction does not necessarily involve the animal itself. Often, we are introduced to an animal concept through the interpretation of others. It is an acquired perception that is … Read More

By / November 14, 2008

Our first encounter with animals happens early in our childhood. This first introduction does not necessarily involve the animal itself. Often, we are introduced to an animal concept through the interpretation of others. It is an acquired perception that is derived from the surrounding influences we are exposed to in our life. Our origin, culture, geographic location, myths, books, TV, cartoons, and the presence of animals in our immediate environment all influence this perception which is often at odds with reality.

In my work I investigate this acquired perception in comparison to reality. Researching for my paintings I visit zoos worldwide to get a first hand impression of the animals and photograph them from different angles and perspectives. Going through hundreds of photographs, I look for the unique qualities of the animal. I try to extract the essence that distinguishes it. My paintings are my interpretation of those distilled qualities of the animals. It may be a distinctive body part, a recognizable gesture, a defined color, body shape, typical design or pattern. I use a close-up, cropped approach, focusing on the animal, minimizing background and setting, detaching the work from place, time or mood to invite the viewers to draw upon their inner world in response to my artwork.

I use pallet knives to apply impasto, thick oil paint, onto wood panels or canvas.

www.tamarassaf.com