Sale: Contemporary Art Auction Date of sale: 07.07.2024 Item: 44

Shay Azulay

The Artist’s Desk, 2008,
Oil on canvas, 80×90 cm.
Signed and dated on the reverse.

Artist Shai Azoulay resides and creates in Jerusalem. His affinity for art developed later in his life when he traveled the world after completing his service in the IDF. Upon his return to Israel, he began his studies at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem, where he completed a Bachelor’s degree (2000) and a Master’s degree (2007). Since 2010, Azoulay has been teaching in Bezalel’s Department of External Studies and in its Haredi program.

Azoulay has exhibited in solo shows in Israel and abroad, including a solo exhibition at the Tel Aviv Museum (2011), another solo exhibition in Tokyo (2013), and group exhibitions in New York, London, Paris, and Rome. His works are found in public and private collections worldwide, including the Israel Museum, Tel Aviv Museum, Ashdod Museum, Bank Hapoalim, Discount Bank, and Bank Leumi.

His significance in the Israeli art scene is evident through numerous awards he has received, including the Landau Prize for Arts and Sciences (2020), the Encouragement of Creativity Prize from the Ministry of Culture (2018), the Artist-Teacher Prize from the Ministry of Culture and Sports (2008-2010), the Morasha Foundation Prize from the Tel Aviv Museum (2007), and the Asnat Moses Prize for Young Artists from the Jerusalem Artists’ House (2007).

Azoulay’s artistic activity is divided into two periods, before and after his return in 2006. He described his return as a pivotal moment: "It was a very strong moment… At Bezalel, they lead you to a certain path and a certain language, and suddenly I felt I had something else to hold onto. And I returned to painting as I painted in this passion of the beginning – from a story, from imagination, and from inspiration" (Shai Azoulay, from an interview with "Mako" website, 2022). Therefore, Azoulay’s return marks a turning point in his artistic practice and also in the nature of his works. The narrative full of characters seen in Azoulay’s works evokes a sense of warmth, compassion, and irony, stemming both from the artist’s self-humor and his humor towards the environment in which he lives. These are presented in a unique manner oscillating between drawing and painting and in additional artistic choices that create a complex internal tension. Thus, his works communicate with the viewer through an extraordinary colorfulness, elevating the duality within the artist’s living soul, as he claims, "with two identities."

Estimated price: $5,000 - $8,000

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