Jacob Gildor in Wonderland
Jacob Gildor's shift to collage seems to have been just a matter of time. For quite a while he has entertained diverse ideas—tangential, overlapping, corresponding, at times restrictive—which all blended in his head. He thus decided to breach the boundaries of good old painting and pave his way toward a new, contemporary world, teeming with colorful images of female beauty and artworks for which he has always pined.
A closer, penetrating look at the works would identify excerpts from masterpieces that have been inalienable cultural assets of visual art for centuries and more. One may easily discern the head of a Greek sculpture, sections from Pieter Bruegel the Elder's painting Peasant Wedding , and a segment from Dutch master Johannes Vermeer's iconic painting Girl with a Pearl Earring . One may also detect two seductive nudes from Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres's Grande Odalisque , and a tribute to German artist Kurt Schwitters. An extra little effort will also reveal Pablo Picasso and Max Ernst, whom he admires, an allusion to a poster for the first feature film produced in pre-state Israel, This is the Land , screened in 1935 at the mythological Mograbi Cinema in Tel Aviv, and even the figure of beautiful actress Audrey Hepburn, interwoven into one of the collages.
The exhibition "Wonderland," which has taken shape over the last five years, features 64 collages which draw freely from all that comes to hand, in the spirit of contemporary art: from the past and the present, from the theater and the cinema; cultural heroes, painters, sculptors, and many others.
Coming to the work surface, equipped only with scissors and glue, Gildor embarked on a quest for readymade images, forms, and colors. He carefully sifted, selected, and cut from newspapers and magazines, books, posters, wrapping papers, paper bags, postcards, catalogues, street advertisements, and whatnot, and from the overflowing piles of mostly colored paper clippings that accumulated he drew inspiration for his collages. The work method was clear to him; he realized that all you need is one good image to make a story: "In collage, I embark on a journey in the imagination," he explains.
The collage technique meshes well with Surrealistic painting, which Gildor practiced for many years. Even then, he knew the importance of coloration and composition. "The combination of beautiful women is a magnet, for me too. At the same time, I am also lured by harsh things. It is all a part of the work process. Each can interpret the work differently." The new reality, spawned by the act of assemblage allows for the presence of the Theater of the Absurd, as well as a link to Dada, which seems to hover above, inspiring a personal, humorous overtone.
Most of the works contain a human figure, and some are characterized by stormy expression, as if Gildor were challenging the viewer to identify the participants in this wild celebration. But was this indeed the artist's intention? Not necessarily. At times, the plot gives rise to theatrical compositions, particularly when he inserts surrealistic figures in imaginary landscapes. Behind every collage there is a story, but Gildor does not always want to share it with the viewer, and prefers that we construct our own stories.
Jacob Gildor was born in Feuchtwangen, Germany, 1948; lives and works in Tel Aviv