Written by Reena Baras
At the end of each academic year, Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem holds its annual Graduate Exhibition. In Medusa and Narcissus, BFA graduate artist Ronny Almagor explores themes of observation and reflection throughout her paintings. There are ten pieces encompassing the exhibition — each painted with oil on canvas. The paintings are all unique in their own way, but each carry with them the theme of surrealism through their hues of dark blues and almost mirror-like reflections, in order to reference her subjects, the mythical characters of Medusa and Narcissus.
The exploration of what is perceived in Almagor’s art creates a unique and calming spectacle. The analogical way upon which this is portrayed activates the subconscious, imagination, and finally the conscious mind. Visitors feel as if they are walking through a field of dreams, colored in blue memories of something once forgotten…yet just beyond reach.
Works of sealed and transparent layers reveal shadows of the shapes of Narcissus, but these shadows remain obscured in a faded background with the subtly interwoven style of her works. There is an ancient Greek myth about Narcissus, upon which he stared into his own reflection from a great body of water with such love and admiration that it lead to his own peril.
Almagor’s other subject, Medusa, is manifested in paintings which cover themselves, disappearing and reappearing their presence throughout her canvas. In the ancient Greek story of Medusa, those who would gaze directly upon her would turn to stone. Yet, those who looked from a reflective surface, such as a mirror, could essentially see her without suffering from her evil powers.
For those who wish to drift into a world where the subconscious is able to meet memories in this long forgotten world of myths and contemplation about the sense of self, this exhibition comes highly recommended.
Ronny Almagor is an artist who lives, and predominantly works in Givatayim. She graduated this year with her BFA from Bezalel Academy and is showcasing her work for the Graduate Exhibition now on view Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, in Jerusalem. She has also showcased works at Presenting Paintings, Gallery Under 1,000, Tel Aviv.
About the author: Born and raised in Silver Spring, MD, Reena Baras moved to Jerusalem in 2015. Reena studied for her BA in early childhood and special education from Montgomery College in Maryland and works as a resource teacher, swim instructor, and freelance artist. In the fall, Reena plans to complete her BA in Liberal Arts at Tel Aviv University.Reena is a contributing journalist for CAIJ.co.