Avi Ben Simhon
|Fez, Morocco, 1947|
|Kibbutz Eyal, Israel|
|painter, mixed media artist|
|paints in the Fauvist style, and is very collectable|
Avi Ben-Simhon is a Modern Fauvist Painter who was brought up in Israel. His paintings are very colorful and joyful. He is a founder member of Kibbutz Eyal where he lives and works.
Avi Ben-Simhon was born in Morocco and his family made aliyah to Israel in 1948, when Avi was one. When he was a child, his family was poor and he didn’t have access to paints, crayons or paper, however he used whatever he could find to express himself artistically. Ben-Simhon therefore was always drawing on newspaper with charcoal and his mother, seeing his talent, encouraged him. After doing his military service, Avi Ben-Simhon became a founder member of Kibbutz Eyal, in the center of Israel, where he lives and works. Avi Ben-Simhon only started his formal art education in 1986 when he went to the Avni Art Institute, the oldest art school in Tel Aviv. He then studied at the Kallisher Institute, an institute of contemporary art. After finishing his art training, Ben-Simhon worked from his studio on the kibbutz and began to teach art, graphics and printing. He is considered a Modern Fauvist Painter.
Avi Ben-Simhon’s use of color is particularly expressive like the 19C Fauvist and Cubists whose work he admires and from who he draws inspiration. Ben-Simhon is also heavily influenced by his environment, his friends and his surroundings on the kibbutz. However Ben-Simhon works only in his studio and paints from his imagination rather than directly from the nature that surrounds him. His paintings are rather like stained glass, or the coloring books children use, with black lines separating the colors and defining the pattern or picture. Much of Ben-Simhon's work depicts flowers, while other pieces have a more abstract mosaic feel.
Avi Ben-Simhon has developed his own technique to create mixed media pieces. He makes collages selecting from hundreds of newspaper and magazine cuttings which he layers on heavy art paper, then Ben-Simhon over paints the collage with a special paint mix he has developed. This paint draws the images out of the cuttings lifting it to the surface, thus creating a collage of image, paint and texture all at the same time. Ben-Simhon is only able to see the final result of his work when he steps back from the piece, making each piece very individual. He also creates prints of many of his paintings. Avi Ben-Simhon’s work is very joyful, expressive and full of life.
Avi Ben-Simhon exhibits regularly in the United States and Israel and his work is in over a hundred galleries and private collections world-wide. Ben Simhon considered very collectable and his prints and paintings are available online. Avi Ben-Simhon is also represented in Israel and abroad by various galleries.