Today we were lucky enough to get a look into Yuval Shaul's new studio, he is a strong Israeli visual artist, his works span from a vast variety of medias and subject matters, from bronze sculptures, wood carvings, paintings, large moving installations, 3D life size works and even taxidermy,
Little did we know that today we would be getting a look into his artist soul as well. What was planned as a quick sales meeting turned into an intriguing and meaningful discussion about his process, his work and his future, as we discovered that for the past year Yuval Shaul has been working on his first solo artist coffee table book.
It is a unique time of reflection for him, as he looks back and reviews his entire body of work, the themes that moved him, the materials he gravitates towards, the colors and emotion. There is a lot that can be concluded and some self-revelations surprised him more than others.
Yuval Shaul was concerned that his endless and restless artistic curiosity might lend itself to the notion that his work doesn't have a specific identity, however, he was greatly reassured to find a common thread that emerged from his fascinating works, this theme is called - "The New Masculine".
This theme carries him throughout his life, artistically, personally and in all areas of life. The delicate conflict between the appearance of a “masculine” strength, acts of bravery, of risk, even war and the deep solitude and angst this carries with it. You will sense this in every single one of his works.
Visiting him today at his studio, experiencing his environment and discovering his process, learning that he has an open ear for conflicting views and opinions of his most personal works, it is undeniable that Yuval Shaul is “The New Masculine”.
His studio is an open space only accentuated by a couple large intimidating installations, the Zebra taxidermy and a disturbing sculpture of Jesus Christ image carrying a rifle over his shoulder, near the exist one would find his black ceramic destroyer sculpture encased within a glass box, on the walls are hanging brown and black works of leather and fur, even his sitting area is a collection of ripped brown leather and dark vintage wooden furniture that give a sense of a rugged history and even a rough sensuality. Everything about his studio screams Masculinity, however, quickly one notices that he is alone in this intimidating space,
Yuval Shaul chooses not to have an assistant or an intern, he is most comfortable working alone, yet he is generous with his time and it seems as if he almost revels at the opportunity to connect and share with others that are willing and interested.
As many other artists, his process of creation is brutal and Yuval is always restless, searching for a new medium to learn and work through and find his perfect expression. When completing and grasping one technique, he buries himself with a complete new idea, new material and a new learning. Yuval Shaul is as fascinatingly conflicted as his work.
We were personally moved by his description of the bronze animal sculpture collection, quoting Sartre, explaining the connection of two different animals at the hips, the 'pleasure areas', as he refers to them, "dragged by their own pleasure", while others are connected at the heart, connected by emotion. This again is an example of a conflict between the "masculine" need of a strong appearance and the immense yearning and angst to connect.
Below you can find some of our favorites pieces by Yuval Shaul, and some captures from our visit Today.
Yuval Shaul is an independent artist and lives in Tel Aviv, Israel.