High Expectations - Oil on canvas - 175x125cm - 2016
Rebecca Brodskis was born in France but travelled a lot throughout her life and lived in many different cities. After spending five years in Berlin, Rebecca Brodskis now live in Tel Aviv, where she works as a painter. Rebecca Brodskis is our Artist of the week.
KALTBLUT: How did you start painting in the first place? Rebecca: I started painting at a very young age in the atelier of my grandmother in Morocco. She was a painter herself and she is really the one who introduced me to the amazing world of brushes and pigments, teaching me day after day the basis of oil painting.
KALTBLUT: You spent most of your childhood traveling between France and Morocco. How do both countries influence your work today? Rebecca: I wouldn’t say that my work is influenced by a country, but rather by the experience of spending a large amount of my childhood on the road following my Bohemian parents. Traveling, being in contact with different cultures is really what had a huge impact on my development, bringing me to question this feeling of being in-between, which is a recurrent theme in my work.
KALTBLUT: We are obsessed with your painting. There is a real deepness in it, and also maybe a certain sadness. What drives you to paint? And who are your models? Rebecca: I see painting as a very vital thing in my life. It’s like a meditation on myself and on the world that surrounds me. It’s my own translation and adaptation of what I perceive from reality. Somehow I need it to better understand how and where I stand. It allows me to step back and to have a certain distance, to see things in a different perspective. My models are everybody and nobody; they can be my friends, a character from a film, someone who is no longer alive, or simply a product of my imagination.
KALTBLUT: What is it about oil that you like so much? Rebecca: I think when you start to paint using oil, it’s very hard to change the medium. So even if the products I am using are very unhealthy, and even if I do get very strong headaches at times because of the turpentine fumes, I could never stop using oil. I think what I like the most about oil is the fact that it imposes its own timing on you. It’s a slow process, so you can’t do whatever you want; you have to wait for it to dry. Sometimes it’s frustrating of course, but it also gives you more time to reflect on the work, which in my opinion is very important, especially in a world where you are usually asked to do everything as fast as possible without overthinking.
KALTBLUT: “Unsettled Disorders”, “Immaterial Reality”, “Portraying the Unfigurable”; a lot of your working themes seem to be more psychological than physical. How do you transcribe this feeling into a painting? Rebecca: I always loved to escape the physical world and to let dreams and thoughts overwhelm me! They are often so much more exciting than plain reality. As I perceive it, my paintings are the direct expression of my thoughts and emotions. They are a true reflection of my psyche and they tell the story of my inner travels. I guess the way I transcribe this into painting is by not focusing on the details in order to access something less physical and less realistic.
KALTBLUT: What is your ultimate goal? Rebecca: This is a very hard question and I actually don’t perceive my life as directed toward a single ultimate goal. I am a very day to day person; I hate to plan things and I love spontaneity. Life is so full of surprises and encounters — why try to organize everything ahead of time? I think the main thing in life is to maintain a certain freedom — an availability to the unknown — and most importantly, to not fall prey to convention. So maybe this is my ultimate goal: to never follow the trend and to stay true to myself and to my creation as much as I can.