Sale: Contemporary Art Auction Date of sale: 07.07.2024 Item: 33

Shlomi Lellouche

Self-Portrait with Ricinus, 2019,
Oil on canvas, 160×200 cm.

Shlomi Lellouche (b. 1979) is a young and promising Israeli figurative artist. Born in Beit She’an, his upbringing greatly influenced his aesthetic identity and the color palette he employs. He sees himself as coming from the periphery and challenging the consensus. Lellouche turned to painting at a young age, using it as a means to cope with the difficult loss of his father. He is a graduate of Oranim College, and the influence of his mentor, Eli Shamir, is evident in his work. Within his paintings, Lellouche often weaves narratives, ones that may not be immediately apparent but reveal new light and add an additional dimension upon closer inspection. He often portrays self-portraits in various situations, laden with symbolism.

Regarding his painting "Self-Portrait with Cucumber" from 2019, Lellouche explains that he embodies the figure of Jonah the Prophet. According to the biblical story, Jonah seeks refuge in the shade of the cucumber, which grows overnight and quickly withers, meaning it cannot be relied upon. The painter’s attempt to seek shelter under the shade of the cucumber in the harsh and typical Israeli sunlight is futile and hopeless, as he leans on a broken reed, resulting in a somewhat grotesque scene. In fact, the painter’s bowed figure is exposed to the sun alongside the agricultural road, gazing at a heavy truck at the right edge of the painting. While seemingly a realistic scene, the composition indicates tension and symbolic presence, a tension between nature, symbolized by the cucumber’s strength, and human culture and actions, represented by the truck as well as the buildings and electric poles in the background. The unique dimensions of the painting allow us, as viewers, to bend alongside the painter under the cucumber and examine the boundary between nature and culture. Yet the question remains, what is the painter hiding from?

In 2020, Lellouche presented a solo exhibition at the Bar-David Museum and was also selected for the "Fresh Paint Fair" artist lineup, where he enjoyed success. He has exhibited in various group exhibitions and his works are held in significant private collections, including those of Dubi Shiff, Rani Rahav, Bank Leumi, and others.

Shlomit Oren

Estimated price: $5,000 - $7,000

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