“Art expresses the way life should be.”
Michal Orgil is an artist. She was born in the suburbs of Jerusalem, a housing complex area with a stream that flowed through it and where nature integrated with urban neglect.
Her childhood was spent wandering around the stream that flowed near her house. She collected stones, various plants and even butterfly caterpillars which she would grow in a jar and when they turned into butterflies, she would free them. Should note that the stream Michal mentioned was not as pastoral as expected – it was an open channel of sewage water that flowed in a strong current through the valley. The idea of “beautiful and sublime” had been disfigured for her from the start. In her paintings, she searches for that place, simultaneously beautiful and cursed, pleasant and threatening. She currently resides in Holon and creates art in Tel Aviv.
Michal Orgil's paintings are very expressive. She works directly on the canvas without preparing sketches. This method of painting is her way of reconstructing trips to unknown locations in which you never know what you will encounter next. The painting develops as a crazy duet between what happens on the canvas that is not always
under her control and situations that arise from her early childhood. As far as Michal is concerned, a painting is “finished” when it manages to exist in the seam in which the beautiful and sublime meet the ugly and rejected. It's something that is almost impossible.
Michal has taken part in many solo exhibitions and group exhibitions in Israel. Currently, she is participating in two exhibitions, one is a group exhibition in the Nachum Gutman Museum and the other an artist’s wall in Maya Gallery, Tel Aviv. For Michal, every exhibition is a peak. No exhibition is more or less important. The location does not dictate the importance of the exhibitions, but the paintings and what she wants to express to the world through them. She therefore always makes an effort to express her feelings and sensations in the most precise way through the application of the paints, distortions and colorful occurrences on the canvas, so the painted situation that constitutes a “story” will be accompanied by emotion.
Michal gives us a piece of her world. She gives us the illusion of an exuberant, fresh, vivid world. Her art stirs in us that magical feeling. The same magic that as a child you felt when seeing new toys. Her art appears innocent, yet witty, alluding to the common saying that life is not always what it seems.
Q. What role does the Artist have in society?
A. When I paint, I don’t think of my role in the world but still, since I want to bring a somewhat different esthetics to my paintings, it is probably important for me to make people view the world from a somewhat different angle. Put aside dichotomous concepts of good and bad, high and low, pretty and ugly and see that beauty and interest (that is sometimes more important than beauty) are to be found in the connection between things and connection between opposites.
Q. What’s your best childhood memory?
A. My first childhood memory: I am really young, sitting on my bed thumbing through a book with a lot of colorful pictures, lots of trees and forests and really large flowers. It must have been a fairy tale.
Q. As a child, what did you wish to become when you grew up?
A. There are many things I wanted to become: an astronaut, actress, dancer and explorer. I believe that through my painting I have managed to touch some of these dreams in an indirect manner.
Q. Do you remember the first art you made, what was it and how old were you?
A. The first painting I remember to have painted was at around the age of 5. I drew a hat with a
large brim using markers. I decorated the hat with a lot of lines and dots and when I finished I
remember thinking to myself that it looked more like a piece of jewelry.
Q. How and when did you first become seriously interested in art?
A. I worked in the Bezalel Academy of Arts for a short period of time. This was the first time I had met people who make art. The encounter with the students and conversations on art led me to comprehend that this was exactly what I wanted. I left my work and at the age of 25 enrolled for art studies in the Ramat Hasharon College of Art (now Kalmania Beit Berl).
Q. What does your art aim to express?
A. As you can see throughout this interview, my art is searching for the one place that contains
everything, that has no hierarchy but still manages to reflect a single moment that lasts forever.
Q. What personality trait has gotten you in the most trouble?
A. My most dominant characteristic is spontaneity that involves extremely profound internal
attention to what is right for me. This property accompanies in painting and in life in general. It
is definitely not a negative property, but sometimes people find it difficult to cope with, mainly a particular type of people, those who try to satisfy the entire world except themselves.
Q. What have you had to sacrifice for this career?
A. The biggest sacrifice in being a painter is in my clothes that somehow always bear a paint stain even if I did not paint in them.
Q. Who are your biggest influences, are you inspired by the work of your peers or anyone else in particular?
A. I really love the paintings of Dana Schuz, Hernan Bas and Daniel Richter. I love the expressive
and also the impressionist movement, large gestures facing small touches. The internal
observation compared to external impression. I use them both in my art.
Q. Is the artistic life lonely? What do you do to counteract it?
A. There is a nice saying “even when you are alone you are not lonely” and this is how I feel when I create in the studio, alone but not lonely. I am full of energies, vitality, excitement, and when emotions are that active you don’t feel lonely. And of course, at the end of the day you
experience interaction with family, friends and life itself.
Q. Apart from your art, what do you love doing?
A. I really love nature walks, treks and the beach.
Q. What is your philosophy in matters of art?
A. My philosophy is that an artist is somewhat like a prophet who foresees the future. In other
words, in my opinion, good quality art does not follow trends, it produces them.
Q. What does 'success' mean to you?
A. Until I sell one of my works for several millions of dollars, success for me is the next painting that has yet to be created and will be more impressive than the ones I have painted before it.
Q. What are the biggest things you've learned in life thus far?
A. It may be banal, but I have learned never to say I cannot do something because when there’s a will there’s a way.
Q. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given, and by who?
A. The best advice I got was from my father in law. He noticed me deliberating over a certain
section of a painting and told me that if I am deliberating it means this is not it. The very
deliberation of an existing thing proves it isn’t right for me.
Q. What advice would you give to the next generation?
A. To the coming generation I would like to say “live your life bravely” and also “only do what you love” because only then it is worth to go full speed ahead.