Yoram Gal: Adhere to Your Inner Truth

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.

Guest Post: Transitions - Helen Brechlin

The fabulous Helen Brechlin makes her return to ALSO THAT with new work. 

Check out her Behance for more work. 

This collection of work was created over the course of my senior year at MassArt. I set out with the idea of painting hair. My previous post explains that hair stemmed from a project where I was making paintings to break stigmas of rape survivors. I wanted to create cogent discussions of how survivors are viewed and treated, whether it be by their school, community, or the media.
Hair is a substance that is full of metaphor and meaning. To individuals it can stand for opposite ideas. It is revered when attached to a person, and then the instance it is taken from the setting of the body it is thought of as disgusting and dirty. A stray hair on anything means that thing has been contaminated.
To me, hair is a recording of personal histories. Hair grows with you through your experiences, whether they are struggles or triumphs. In my paintings I focused on the hardships and depicting emotionally traumatizing events with hair. How will the hair manifest itself when the person it belongs to is a rape survivor?
My concept comes before my preferences; I am a representational figure painter who has forgone both the body and observation to better express my ideas. As this project has continued there has been a slow transformation from strictly observational studies to purely abstracted realities of swirling colorful tendrils. The hair I paint tangles within itself to ebb and flow as it fights its way to completion.
My most recent paintings, many would say, do not resemble hair at all. I gave myself my last semester at school to be a period of painting where I step away from my preferences and politics and begin to dig deeper into the medium of painting itself. I still think of hair when I am creating paintings, but not in the literal sense when I first began this project. Instead, the hair is referenced in the brush strokes, line and form. These works I call “Transitions” to reflect my emergence from school and observational painting. With these works, I hope to gain better insight into the kinds of paintings I wish to create in post-grad reality.
— HB

Guest Post: A Resting Place- John Davis

John Davis is a ridiculously talented painter who is in his senior year at MassArt. Funny enough, he recently co-hosted a gallery showing with Helen Brechlin, another ALSO THAT Guest Artist.

Check out his website here: John Davis Fine Art

From the infinite amount of color possibilities to the ability it has to act as a sculptural material, paint, as a medium intrigues me. Through painting, I explore these possibilities and am always looking for new ways to realize its sculptural potential and to alter the color palette to address the mood of the paintings. While experimenting with the building up and layering of this pigmented paste I re-­‐ present my subjects and give them a chance to be reintroduced.

My handling of the paint often becomes more significant than the subject matter. I view my paintings as many abstract moments that are assembled into representational images. The neutral areas of color act as a resting place allowing the more saturated hues to distort the reality of the space.

Whether I am painting an interior that few people are intimately familiar with or a single object that most viewers could easily recognize, my intention is to alter the ways that viewers both experience and perceive these mundane subjects, to distort the line between perception and reality.
— JD


I painted a ram skull recently. The thing about this one that's different from a lot of my other work is that there was no initial concept sketch. I just sat down and started painting and this is what happened.

Acrylic on Bristol paper

There were a lot of corrections with this one. I fussed over it for a while before I was finally happy with the finished product.  

Take a look at how Skull came to be. 

Overlooked Beauty - Jacqueline Ferrante

Jacqueline Ferrante is quite the artist. I've had the pleasure of working with her in the past and have seen her grow as an artist over time.  I'm honored to share her work on my website. 

Jacqueline Ferrante is a Brooklyn-based artist working to uncover the overlooked beauty in conventional spaces. Her work lends a critical eye to the deconstruction and decay of aging surfaces in the environment.

She finds these surfaces by being cognizant of her surroundings, on the lookout for the atypical and imperfect. Through the use of color and texture within her work, each mark elicits a new understanding of the world around her.

Jacqueline’s work has been exhibited at A.I.R. Gallery, Trestle Gallery, Gallery 360, and Greenpoint Gallery. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art and Theater Production from Northeastern University.

Jacqueline is also a muralist and scenic painter.

Margo Virzera- A Colorist By Nature

The first time I met Margo, I was quite drunk at my younger sister's 21st birthday party. When she informed me that she was an artist (and a classmate of my sister's) I insisted on seeing her work.

Then, once she finally got around to showing me some of her portfolio, I insisted on her having a guest post here.

I love the way that she makes colors pop on the canvas. This, coupled with the use of animal imagery, gives her work an exotic, almost tropical feel. 


My work is influenced by a combination of human form and the environment. A colorist by nature, I exaggerate tints of colors found within each form. I've always been intrigued by the surreal, and tend to incorporate a dash of surrealism into some pieces. My work has led me to love and be inspired by all that surrounds me. 

Flutter By

I got a book on watercolors, so I've been experimenting with those a little.

I really like them. It's a forgiving medium.

I mean, it's REALLY easy to make a mistake, but it's also really really easy to correct a mistake since all you have to do is wipe the paint away with a paper towel.

Anyways, this painting is called Flutter By.

First I had to get the shape of the butterfly down. I originally wanted to go with a monarch pattern, but soon scrapped that idea.

The first attempt

The first attempt

I really really like this first draft. There's something about the texture I just love. I wish there were elements of it that I kept in the final, but I sacrificed that grittiness for a more blended approach in the final draft.

I'm happy with my first water color painting. I think it turned out pretty good.

I made this painting as a gift, so hopefully the recipient is just as pleased with it as I am. 

Helen Brechlin At a Glance

I've only known Helen for a short while, but I can tell she's going places, which is why I asked her to share some work on ALSO THAT. A fellow Connecticution, (person from Connecticut for those of you that are slow on the uptake) Helen is young but has already won some major awards, so keep an eye on this rising star. 

Check out her Behance and have a look at some of her other stuff. www.behance.net/HelenBrechlin 

My name is Helen Brechlin and I am a rising senior at Massachusetts College of Art and Design studying both Painting and Art History.
 	My painting centers on continuing the fight to raise awareness of violence against women and breaking stigmas of rape survivors. My goal as an artist and woman is to start a discourse and to further educate about the ignored topic of sexual assault. It is not until we start talking about and acknowledging these events that we can even begin to address the larger issues at hand.
	Recently I have been painting hair. Hair has always been important to me. Like many girls growing up, it has been the crux of my femininity - a safety blanket for my own identity. Hair grows with you as a personal recording of your history. What happens when those memories are frightful, terrifying, or violent? If hair is a recording of your past and your past includes terrible incidents how will the hair manifest itself? What is the reaction when hair, an entity revered when attached to a head, is removed from the traditional setting of the body? Through my paintings I explore these questions and the allegorical nature of hair specifically in relation to sexual assault.