Sale: Contemporary Art Auction Date of sale: 07.07.2024 Item: 38

Bazooka Joe

Oil on canvas, 110×140 cm.

Bazooka Joe is the nickname of Israeli artist Adi Mendel (born 1963), who revolutionized the art world with his unique style and captivating approach. In his youth, the artist struggled with drug addiction and spent a significant portion of his life in arrest and prison, a period that left a strong mark on his work. He began his artistic journey after overcoming addiction, thus fulfilling his artistic talent. His colorful and daring works stirred up a storm in the local art scene, capturing the attention of art enthusiasts and quickly being acquired by important private and public collections, including the Vogelheimer Collection and the Rani Rahav Collection. Recognition, love, and support for Bazooka Joe’s art are also evident in less conventional places, such as a commissioned work by the Prison Service for the wall of the Abu Kabir Detention Center, a creation that served as a closure to a circle for the artist.

The "gangster art" style invented by Bazooka is apparent in his works with bold and provocative undertones, along with the use of symbols and mystical imagery. His work makes extensive use of symbols and language as a means and power to convey messages to the viewer. Bazooka Joe’s works contain surrealistic figures, men with feminine traits, elderly women, and masculinity, all in a colorful and imaginative blend. All of these are presented boldly and without any desire for conformity to the norms accepted in the art world. Bazooka’s working process is spontaneous and original, his ideas transferred to the canvas without prior planning, drawing inspiration from personal experiences, and thus the final product serves as a kind of window into the artist’s soul and his way of coping with the reality he experiences and continues to experience.

Bazooka Joe’s art is an expression of his personal and universal vision, his desire to provide hope and illuminate the path for others who find themselves in darkness, as he himself has experienced. Through art, he found redemption and the strength to live full and meaningful life.

Estimated price: $15,000 - $20,000

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