Poetic mirror creates a melange of colours

Reflecting Urban Life

Incorporating a sense of movement with pop art is what defines David Gerstein’s work. Making it special is the amalgamation of painting and sculptures.

Therefore, the popular Israeli artist, known for his three dimensional steel artwork, believes that through his installations he takes the painting a step towards sculpture and vice versa. 

Recently in the City for the exhibition ‘Poetic Mirror’ at India Habitat Centre, the 70-year old artist put on display a unique collection of steel installations coloured in myriad hues. Since it is his solo exhibition in the country, David says, he did not want to concentrate on one particular theme. The exhibition showcased his work of the last two years.

“I have put up everything-- from crowd of cyclists to people walking on street, butterflies and birds,” says David. He started with wood carvings in 1980 and switched over to metal work in 1995. 

 “My work is a mirror of urban lifestyle. I try to balance it by reflecting the desire of the urban class to get integrated with nature. Each of these small elements have been used to create a single piece with multi-layered images.” 

Therefore, most of his art pieces are three-dimensional. “The addition of layers adds depth to the image. My effort is to make the painting come out of the wall and enjoy the gallery space. There is a reason behind cut outs too as they give the volume to the image and makes it easy for the painting to easily invade into the space,” he says.

As art enthusiasts appreciated his work, it became his particular style to interpret images. Apparently, it made him more inclined towards creating a sense of movement in his artwork.  His installation 5th Avenue which shows people walking without being concerned  about each other has been given a three-dimensional effect by arranging it in three tiers. Likewise, cyclists in a group heading towards their destination have been given a similar feel of movement. 

It is indeed colours, vibrant and glossy, that add a lot of depth to his work.  But is David’s personal inclination towards pop art and his love for industrial (automobile) colours together, that make his artwork unusual.  Like a steel cut out of lips with many small butterflies filling it out is one fine example. “Lips are a popular image in pop art. I wanted to interpret in my own style by not just sticking to red colour. I wanted to make it a sensitive piece,” says David, who covered the lips with the cut out of hundreds of small butterflies. “I gave a totally new meaning to my work,” he says. 

David’s fascination for butterflies has been reflected in a lot of his work.  He has created a female shoe-like structure with many butterflies in it. “Butterflies are not a copy from any book. I coloured them the way I wanted to. I invented my kind of butterfly which is not like the original ones,” says David. 

The exhibition is on view till May 15 at Visual Arts Gallery, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road from 10 am to 8 pm.

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