Israeli Artist Ilan Adar in Sofia: Wake Up Your Walls, Change Everything

Interview |Author: Milena Hristova | December 10, 2013, Tuesday // 16:59|  views

Photo by personal archive

Ilan Adar is an Israeli figurative artist, wire sculpture and a photographer. Ilan's innovative and fascinating techniques capture the viewers' attention and make them stop for a minute and think.

His portfolio consists of various formats, both two and three-dimensional contemporary pieces, using a multitude of materials. Ilan Adar has exhibited several times in recent years and his work can be found in galleries and houses worldwide.

We spoke with Ilan Adar a day before he exhibited his exciting and fresh work for the first time in Bulgaria's capital Sofia.


The exhibition "Wake up Your Walls“ is opening on December 11 at Towers Gallery in Sofia, featuring some of your best works. How does it feel for an Israeli artist to show his work for the first time in Bulgaria?

It is my first visit and first exhibition here and I really love it. Bulgaria is a very beautiful country! I have seen the snow-capped mountain peaks, the nice old neighborhoods in Sofia, full of atmosphere. The whole capital has lots of cultural exhibits to show too and last but not least very good restaurants.

Did you expect to find these here?

No, I did not expect it to be that nice – both the place and the people. As a matter of fact I knew quite few things about Bulgaria before I started planning my visit and did some research. But I also have friends of mine, whose parents came from Bulgaria.

What can art lovers expect to see at the exhibition "Wake up your walls“?

It is a solo exhibition of my works from different periods, including my big works from my most famous series, called "Stained“. I appropriate images of celebrities, which have been turned into icons and have huge cultural impact - celebs ranging from Hollywood stars to Albert Einstein.

I completely rework them to take away the unapproachable aura of the star and show the human being with all his or her imperfections or stains. I depict the imperfections as stains, so that the individual's face is represented as a multi-layered puzzle of stains.

I peel the original image and rebuild it with patterns that I choose until it's all made from little „stains“, a word that I use in its double meaning.

When did you start working on "Stained“?

I started my work in 2009, but the first exhibition was staged two years later.

Your technique is an extremely  meticulous process – you must be a very patient man!

Yes, the same holds true of my other so-called Woven works – they all consist of one line and it takes ages to do it. It is an obsessive work, but I enjoy it. True, I am really a very patient man and besides the canvas is like a psychologist sofa for me. I express all the emotions that I am going through on the canvass – from happiness to sadness.

You always seem to seek working off, off the beating track. How did you come up with the idea about "Stained“ and the other series?

I have always perceived the world around me in patterns, even before I go to the canvass.

I wanted to take celebrities from the pedestal media have put them on and show they are not perfect either, like all of us. My work makes people think, I don't even need to direct them.

If you take a close look at the Robotics series – Bob Dylan, for instance, you will see lots of emotions too and a whole story about the different periods of his life.

In my other series, called "One Line“, I never pick up the pen until I finish the work.

Are those techniques connected?

Yes, they develop from one into another.

Are they your own invention?

Yes, I think so. If somebody else is implementing the same techniques, it has not been to my knowledge.

Who is your favorite celebrity from those series?


What reaction do you get from the people who come to your exhibitions?

We have just opened a new artist studio in Jaffa, on the beach, a place popular among artists and art lovers. When those people come into the studio, they are amazed at the variety of works and how subtle, detailed and correct the lines are. Before they touch the wire works, for instance, they think it is a sketch on the wall.

I am looking forward to the response of the Bulgarian public.

I am honored to say that H.E. Mr. Shaul Kamisa Raz, Ambassador of Israel to Bulgaria, will attend the opening of the exhibition as an honorary guest. I also want to say thank you to Eli Egosi and the people from Towers Gallery, who made this happened.

I would come here again, definitely.

What does "Wake up your walls“ mean to you personally?

It is time we change everything, every field. Arts transcends politics and religions.  It is my dream to stage joint exhibitions with Palestinian artists too.

Israeli Artist Ilan Adar in Sofia: Wake Up Your Walls, Change

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Tags: sofia, artist, Israel, Israeli, Ilan Adar, Bulgaria


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