I recently had the pleasure of meeting artist Yoram Gal at the Bruce Museum Art Festival. I took an immediate liking to him as we spoke about his work and life in general. I offered to interview him for ALSO THAT and his graciously accepted. Super excited to share his work and his unique perspective. Check out his website here!
MT: When did you first decide to become an artist? How did you get to where you are today?
YG: I felt in my gut from about age 12 that I wanted to write and paint. It evolved throughout my adolescence. I painted since age 12 all the time, while also doing theater and cinema, and above all, writing. I put off having children till I was 48, so that I can be free not to do art only if it brings money. I was fighting against "a well paying career" in order to remain true to the truth. Gradually, as I matured, I was able to achieve success and not compromise my sense of truth. It took 50 years of painting and finding the right partner in life and in business (Tzlila Hurvitz) to be ripe for my own gallery, and so in 2 weeks our new Open Studio - Gallery will open (by appointment only) in Old Jaffa, Israel.
MT: What do you want your audience to take away from your work?
YG: I want to make the world better by having people experience new insights gotten from my work, which might make them see new truths and therefore pass on a new message of goodness. I want them to keep enjoying my art, because if they do, they feel elevated. This elevation is an emotional spiritual triumph.
MT: Do you have a piece you are particularly proud of, or one that means a lot to you?
YG: I have many. All are my kids. Offsprings of mine. I have a few favorites but too many to list here.
MT: Being an international artist, do you find any difficulty in reaching different cultures with your work?
YG: I find when I meet different people of totally different cultural backgrounds that most of my work strikes a chord with most of them. In China, I was happily surprised when Adam and Eve appealed so much (they don't grow up on our Bible stories). Indians, Europeans, in fact, a vast array of different cultures connect to something that seems to be universal and this brings me joy.
MT: You are in a unique position being both a painter and a writer. How do you balance the twin disciplines?
YG: This is tough when I need to keep painting and cannot take months off for bouts of writing. So I have basically put my writing aside in the past 13 years, keeping it alive on a very small flame. I did manage to write one book in this period and another is simmering. Quietly, deep under the daily surface. I will have to set time aside and dive deep into this novel by deserting the intensity of painting for months at a time.
MT: What words of advice can you offer to aspiring artists?
YG: Love it. Adhere to your inner truth. Strengthen your inner fiber of morality and love of truth all the time. Learn from everybody and everything. Read endlessly, dedicate your life to it, be ready to sacrifice everything for it, never be discouraged, remember Van Gogh, Von Kleist, and many others whom no one understood when they were alive and don't be discouraged by "failure". Tenacity, passion, love of art are all you need.