Yigal Ozeri – Hyper-realsim # 2

“I’m not afraid of the word romanticism.” –  Yigal Ozeri.

Yigal Ozeri has to be my favourite Hyper-realist. His work is breath taking in the extreme. One has to really look hard to ascertain that it is a painting  and not a photograph.

Priscilla Series

Priscilla in Ecstasy  2008

Priscilla in Ecstasy – detail

Priscilla Series    2006

Priscilla in Vines

Priscilla in Vines

“Something like six years ago when I first decided I wanted to work with models, I put something on craigslist. Girls showed up who’d posed for magazines, and they looked like something out of Penthouse. There was no one that interested me. But by chance I’d also advertised for a man with long hair. This one guy showed up, a very interesting guy, and in conversation he said, “I have a girlfriend, but the problem is that she lives in the forest in Maine.” I didn’t believe him, but the next week we went and we met this girl – her name is Priscilla – in Maine.  So that’s how it started.

Priscilla is the real thing. She’s not a model that I took into nature.”

From an interview with Robert Ayers

Desire for Anima – 2009

Jessica in the park

Lizzie Jagger Series – 2011

Lizzie in Snow

Lizzie in Snow

Robert Ayers Interview  regarding the “Desire for Anima” show

You work with assistants, don’t you?

Yes, ten painting assistants, and another five working on the video and photography. It’s a whole crew. They’re assistants who work like they did in the renaissance. . Van Eyck, or Velasquez, or Leonardo, or Rubens, they all worked with assistants. They were directors. I believe in that. Go to the Metropolitan Museum. The best piece there is that van Eyck where he used twenty-five assistants. And it’s the best piece there because every one of them gave their best.

The best artist you can find will work ten hours a day for six days a week. That’s sixty hours. We are talking about 600 hours a week. What one person can do in a year, we can do in a month. This whole show took a year and a half.

My system is that they work for me ten hours a day, three days a week, and the rest of the time they do their own art. They’re not slaves. I’m not like Jeff Koons. And they don’t work for me for more than three years. They go on to do their own art and I take on new people. It’s like an education.

I would love the rare privilege to work under someone like Yigal Ozeri, the knowledge gained cannot be compared to hours of slogging away without the collaborative feedback of being in a “Masters” studio environment.

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