Ben Avram

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Ben Avram

Edward Ben Avram (born 1941) is an artist who was born in Bombay, India and immigrated to Israel as a teenager. He graduated from the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in 1965 and continues to make his home in Jerusalem.

He lives and breathes Jerusalem in most of his oil paintings and water colors. The characters he depicts are not creations of a stranger overcome with the exotic. They are figures of people in their own world, harmony between man and his environment, a full life. His themes are mainly landscapes of his beloved Jerusalem, her arched alleyways, steep narrow streets, spires, citadels and gates in the walls of the ancient city. His seascapes, in delicate watercolors, of Jaffa and Acre, have a minimal regard for such actualities as Nature's laws but with the light and rhythm of a real Mediterranean seacoast. In the Land of Israel there is something special about the sunlight and the local scale of colors and these Ben Avram understands and captures in his paintings. The subjects are hinted at rather than explicit, but some details are nevertheless clearly presented. Ben Avram stimulates our imagination but does not tell the story from A to Z. This is art which does not preach but gets to the heart of the matter by way of allusions. Each effort carries his indelible stamp: the lively stroke, the split-second sensation of a genial eye recorded by a confident hand. He sees the essence of things, at once selects the important and discards the unnecessary. There is a refinement and ease in his drawing that manages to capture the poetry of a place.

With his penchant for filigreed designs and bright colors, Edward Ben Avram betrays some influences of his Indian boyhood. But the subjects that he paints so gracefully with a touch of Oriental lyricism are scenes of Jerusalem, his home for over 20 years. He approaches his canvases with a spontaneous vigor, arriving at a semblance of the actual scenes through an accumulation of lines against areas of color. His oils are rich performances of decoration, his water colors and gouaches remain fresh, illuminated by transparancies that recall the clean light of Israel.