Haim Mizrahi

Biography

Born in Jerusalem, Mizrahi attended school for physical rehabilitation. After having served in the Army, he immigrated to the U.S. in 1983, and has been a resident of East Hampton ever since. He explains that "Music, painting and poetry are my passions. I spent five years from 1989 through 1994, studying with artist Siv Cedering, and seven years, 2003 through 2010 with Alan Planz, who both were my poetry mentors. I also spent a year studying music and drums with Kenwood Denard." Mizrahi continues "As a self-taught artist, I appreciate the mentorship I received from both Steve Romm, and the late artist Michael Knigin.

Elaborating on his passion for art, Mizrahi reveals "I believe in devotion that is carried by images placed deep in our subconscious, in addition to 'helping reality carry the burden' of contemplations in the long process of creativity. I am aware of just about every ingredient that brings together this desire to live, and the willingnes to cope with the desire is the crown of my journey, in short, I am a technique related artist rather than a subject related artist, and that is to say: talent and inspiration are a given and therefore my complete effort lies within the process of accumulation and build-up of 'emotional layers.'"

Haim has worked with kids under: Project Most, an after hours creative program in elementary schools in EH, cross implementing the creative aspects of artistic mediums. The most important aspect of his creative journey is the ability to avoid EDF, Energy Draining Factors and therefor find himself engaged purely in art itself rather then thought, contemplations and preparations.

Mizrahi’s paintings and collages are defined by recurrent themes, such as creative energy, individuality and kinetic power. Usually working in a blaze of color, elements of Mizrahi’s sometimes graphic, sometimes free-form style bring artists such as Frank Stella and Jackson Pollock to mind, yet he always shines as an artistic original. “My work stretches across many styles due to my detachment from rules and points of reference that speak for the journey of the great masters,” Mizrahi says.  “I value the energy that finds itself smiling through the end result,” the artist adds.

“The works of Haim Mizrahi mean a great deal to me,” Vered Gallery owner Janet Lehr explains in an announcement about the show. “They embody the support of Israel at a time when the world has become hostile,” Lehr says, defending Israel’s current fight in the Middle East. The gallerist notes that, to her, Mizrahi’s paintings evoke freedom and hope, “above all, hope.”

Some locals may recognize Mizrahi, who Lehr calls a “Renaissance man for the 21st century,” as the host of his morning talk show Hello Hello on LTV in East Hampton. Also a poet, writer and jazz musician, he has published several CDs of music and a number of books, including a collection of pithy aphorisms called There Is No Simple Way to Say Simple Things, a Snack for Your Mind. His recent poems are featured in Long Island Sounds, an anthology of poems by Long Island poets, and he has shown extensively throughout the East End and Israel.

As Mizrahi sees his paintings inextricably woven with music and poetry, he often performs with other local musicians and reads poetry at his exhibitions. As Lehr says, his shows are not-to-be-missed happenings.

If Mizrahi’s art exudes tremendous energy and life – affirming forces, poetry and music probably contribute to these qualities. For example, if Mizrahi gets in a bind while working on his abstract images, he takes a break to play the drums or write a poem. This is how these diverse art forms help release the creative drive. Whatever Mizrahi counts on for motivation, it works, noting, “I just continue, doing every day the same thing in the same fashion. That means it will come to life, produce results.”

That’s Mizrahi’s goal: to bring his paintings to life without thinking or judging what he has done. “I don’t come to the studio to get ready to paint. I walk in and just turn the heat on; I just release paint on the surface. My body will paint even if my head is detached.”

Besides motivation, Mizrahi also uses music, particularly, to jump-start a precise plan or technique when he’s creating an accumulation of layers. Each layer has a different color and is subject to different musical counts. “ I use the tempo in music to create the images. I stick with the plan,” he stresses. “ I don’t change my mind in the middle of my creating.”

In a nutshell, Mizrahi’s paintings are not subject-oriented, nor is he concerned about light, composition and color. He feels competent in those areas and can concentrate on his technique instead. This is apparent in his current exhibit with pieces like “Normal Consideration,” where there is a multi-layering of reality existing in different stages, according to the artist. These stages, it seems to this critic, become more complicated and dense, depending on the work. Even so, “The World is Hanging on a String” with its vertical shapes, appears less dense than some of Mizrahi’s other works. But we can imagine that he still uses a similar technique no matter what the configurations.

Mizrahi’s poetry can be complex as well with its juxtaposition of words, but it is less dense in his small book, There Is No Simple Way to Say Simple Things. The poems are really short single sentences, which convey poignant wisdom. For example, “ The gates to immortality have no locks,” and “ The accidental is designed.” It is interesting to note that Mizrahi’s art and poetry both seem spontaneous, but, in fact, they are not.

Mizrahi’s penchant for poetry (and his drumming) go back a long way, to his life in Jerusalem where he was also a house painter. While his sister, a well-known poet in Israel, encouraged his early efforts, he never stopped writing even though English is a second language.

And since the late 1990s, Mizrahi hasn’t stopped painting either saying, the process itself is stronger than we are.

An important source for modern and contemporary American & European Art in East Hampton, New York & worldwide, Janet Lehr Fine Arts' spectacular wide-ranging inventory consists of unique paintings, drawings, large & small scale sculpture, monotypes, prints and photographs  by Ansel Adams, Milton Avery, Richard Avedon, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Romare Bearden, Fernando Botero, Cartier-Bresson, Marc Chagall, Alvin Langdon Coburn, Willem De Kooning, Richard Diebenkorn, Thomas Eakins, Childe Hassam, David Hockney, Winslow Homer, Wolf Kahn, Jeff Koons, Fernand Leger, Roy Lichtenstein, Man Ray, Thomas Moran, Henry Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, Robert Rauschenberg, Mark Rothko, Cindy Sherman, Charles Sheeler, Bert Stern, Alfred Stieglitz, Andy Warhol, Carleton E Watkins, Tom Wesselmann and Andrew Wyeth.

To bookmark Janet Lehr Fine Arts Gallery website: http://www.janetlehrfinearts.com

View synoptic biography below.

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FROM A Q & A BY EILEEN CASEY, MAY 12 2011 FOR HER SERIES: THE ARTS/ARTISTS OF THE HAMPTONS/THE ARTIST'S AMONG US  http://www.hamptons.com/The-Arts/Artists-of-the-Hamptons/14347/Artists-Among-Us-Haim-Mizrahi.html#.VTZv_SFViko

 

Eileen Casey.  When did you start making art and what medium(s) do you consider to be your roots in art?

Haim Mizrahi: I started creating art in 1997, choosing, randomly, every aspect available to express my thoughts and ideas. What triggered me was the curiousity about blending and implementing experiences from all aspects of my life on to the surface-canvas.

EC: What is it about the Hamptons that brought you here and enticed you to stay, work, and pursue your art here as opposed to some place else?

HM: I arrived in East Hampton as destiny determined my journey, I felt, immediately, that it matched the beauty and intensity of my place of birth, so I decided to stay and find out the nature of the magic that struck me.

EC: How do you support yourself as an artist?  

HM: I am a house-painter and a physical therapist. (George Braque followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather by becoming a house painter, first.  Willem de Kooning was hired to design window displays for a chain of New York shoe stores called A.S. Beck.) 

EC: Why live and work in the Hamptons as opposed to elsewhere?

HM: The way of life of the Indians, the magic of the air, the light and history, all of which are embeded in my work.

EC: What local environmental or historical aspects of the Hamptons do you relate to that may be reflected in your medium?

HM: Well, living in East Hampton was not planned or intended, but since I have arrived I knew it is a place where I could find my calling.

EC: What artists do you feel have influenced you and your work?

HM: Bob Vladimir Yourochkin, a Russian artist and musician, who lives in Jerusalem has had a tremendous influence on me and my work.

EC: What advice would you give an emerging artist?

HM: The advise I would give an emerging artist is - do not listen to people's advice unless there is love, appreciation and respect involved.

EC: What gives you an edge (if any)?

HM: Projects give me an edge, especially when it is something I may not know a great deal about. I can accomplish just about anything when it comes to projects and deadlines. 

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