"MY PHILOSOPHY IS THAT THE LESS PHILOSOPHY IS BETTER."
Yuval Kedar, born in Israel in 1957 was an art teacher and a curator. He is now a full-time painter. He grew up in Tel Aviv to a father who was a painter and a man of theatre and a psychologist mother. Since the age of four until seven years, he lived in a village near Tel Aviv with his maternal grandparents. The grandfather was an agricultural expert, ex-military officer and a painter as well.
Kedar’s art is based on romanticism and you can find traces of the post-impressionist painters like Gauguin, and contemporary painters like Doig, Neo Rauch, etc. A few years ago, he enjoyed exhibiting a large threptic group show in the Haifa museum of art. His work has also been published in art magazines. Since graduating in 1986, he has exhibited in several solo shows.
Kedar’s works of art have that sense of togetherness and connection that can easily be perceived among the pureness of a sincere heart. His art allows you to absorb the moment you are in; forgetting about any problems or inconveniences you may be experiencing. Hence, it also allows you to emit some sincerity, some tranquility, some joy and the most desired feeling we all seek: love. It is almost impossible to stay at a distance from your own feelings, when what you see in his art invokes so much from within. But it’s a good and warm feeling, almost as if you are part of the story that is taking place.
Q. What role does the artist have in society?
A. I am an introverted person and I strive for artistic quality, of which I am sure is the most important role an artist should ever have.
Q. What’s your best childhood memory?
A. Playing in my grandfather’s farm of trees, oranges, avocados, pomegranates, guavas, and grapes. Everything was so natural and wild.
Q. As a child, what did you wish to become when you grew up?
A. I never thought of growing up, it was too abstract for me at the time.
Q. Do you remember the first art you made? What was it and how old were you?
A. The first art I did was an image of a large bird on the inside of a cupboard door. Later on, when I was 11 years old, my father who was a painter realized I painted all kinds of stories and he taught me the fundamentals of drawing from life and copying masterpieces in drawing.
Q. How and when did you first become seriously interested in art?
A. At the age of 23, I traveled to Paris and there I was exposed to the highest quality of art ever. I studied in an academy at Place de Vouges and I was roaming around in Paris with a sketchbook drawing sculptures, urban landscapes and naturally, people. I also had a studio in which I painted in oils, influenced by the paintings I saw in the Louvre Museum and in the art galleries.
Q. Tell us about your particular style and how you came to it?
A. I was always impressed by the classics and when I went to the academy of Bezalel in Jerusalem in 1982, I encountered the tendency of modernism and for four years I put my personal preferences on hold and tried to “belong” to the artistic intellectual contemporary current. When I graduated, I rapidly and happily returned to my personal preferences that I still develop to date.
Q. How do you visualize the textures of your work?
A. I always feel as if I am constructing a visual collage of neighboring textures that support each other harmoniously.
Q. What does your art aim to express?
A. I only paint with LOVE. I avoid evil and demeaning issues because I learned that only from goodwill comes good quality. In every series that I did, I was fascinated with the beauty I could contribute to our beautiful world. As I said before, I avoid evil but I am not in denial, even the less attractive part of our existence is filled with mystery and uniqueness.
Q. What personality trait has gotten you in the most trouble?
A. Not having a social ambition, being spoiled and overthinking.
Q. Who are your biggest influences? Are you inspired by the work of your peers or anyone else in particular?
A. It is hard to say, I feel an independent spirit, I love many artists, contemporary and 19th century quality art. I always prefer painting over other mediums.
Q. Is the artistic life lonely? What do you do to counteract it?
A. When I paint, I am never lonely, I am alone. I am blessed with a very good wife and very few friends who counteract with me the unsolved issues created in the studio.
Q. Apart from art, what do you love doing?
A. I like travelling in Israel in nature and in ancient sites.
Q. What is your philosophy in matters of art?
A. My philosophy is that the less philosophy is better.
Q. What does 'success' mean to you?
A. Being appreciated is a good heartwarming feeling, unluckily it tends to dissolve quite rapidly.
Q. What are the biggest things you've learned in life thus far?
A. Love is the most important.
Q. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given, and by who?
A. “Remain sober” by a wise person who doesn’t really succeed to remain sober.
Q. What advice would you give to the next generation?
A. Be loyal to yourself.