Meet the Artist: Michal Avrech

Photo: Courtesy of Michal Avrech

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.

My name is Michal Avrech, I am an international artist, based in Israel. I have BA in fine arts and MA in art therapy. I have been painting since I was a child, it was my unique way to express myself. It motivated me to continue and learn fine art and art therapy at the university, and to become an artist as well as an art therapist. Only when my children grew up I pursued exhibiting in Israel, Europe and the US. Several years ago, I was privileged to be named one of the finalist in a well-known competition in Europe, leading to further exhibitions. For many years I worked as an artist and art therapist with children at risk. I appreciate the power of art to encourage people and make them feel optimistic. That is my mission, as an artist and art therapist as well. In the USA I participated for three years in art fair, via the Sarona gallery, at for example Art Expo York, Art Expo San Diego, and Spectroom Miami. In Europe I exhibited in Venice Italy, Moscow Russia, and London England. I have had great opportunities to have exhibitions via the “Paks” gallery in many famous places in Europe, like the Fiac event in Paris – Carousel du Louvre.  

What inspired you to become an artist?

I have been painting since I was a child. It was my unique way to express myself, I got some awards and appreciation, so it was obvious to me to continue to learn art and art therapy as well in university. I used to go to many art museums with my family and friends, and I was influenced by the impressionist and expressionist artists as well. In the begging of my artistic career I illustrated nine children’s books.  The color of them is really similar to the joyful and expressive color of my acrylic paintings. 

What is your specialty?

My specialty is painting dynamic and abstract landscapes, this is my way to expressing my feelings and thoughts, in an impressionistic and expressive, colorful and dynamic manner. This technique reflects my inner world. People can relate to   the energetic and joyful colors and feel the vitality of the compositions. 

My art is influenced by impressionist artists, whom I really admire, and by other expressive artists, too. My brush strokes reflect my energetic nature. 

I prefer painting on large canvases with room to express my fondness for nature and freedom. Sometimes I paint few canvases that relate to each other but can stand on their own.

How and where do you work?

I paint in my studio at home almost every day and also sometimes I go to many places and paint there. Usually I paint the area near my neighborhood, and the North of Israel. Sometimes I paint my acrylic patients in the open space, other times I make photographs and paint in my studio at home. Although I paint places and views, I express my feelings and my thoughts in the paintings in a way that everybody can relate to. The environment I paint is nature that I love. I used to go there with my parents when I was young, and later with my own family and friends. The atmosphere, in the different the hours of the day, with the changing light, the horizon, the flowers and the trees, all affect me deeply and is the main subject of my paintings.

What is the most indispensable item in your studio space?

I can work and paint only with the proper light, in a big space. Sometimes I prefer working at the open spaces near my neighborhood and at places in northern Israel that I know and like. It really inspires my soul. 

Where do you take your inspiration? Are you pursuing any themes?

I take my inspiration usually from my area and people that I like. Sometimes I paint in nature, and sometimes at my studio. Usually I paint abstract and dynamic landscape, with energetic brush strokes, that are influenced by the impressionistic and expressive artists.

Since childhood my favorite artists are Monet, Manet and Van Gogh. I love the way that Monet and Manet express the changes of the light during the day and seasons. I also admire the intense colorfulness and amazing brush strokes of Van Gogh paintings.

I can feel these artists’ influence in my artworks. I also enjoy painting the same views in the different seasons, using powerful colors and intense brush strokes.

I express my feelings and thoughts through the artworks, in a way that the viewer can feel and maybe imagine their own view and their own places, connect to their feelings and relate to it in their own unique way of experiencing life. I am a very energetic person and I think that the energetic brushstrokes express my energetic personality.

Do you do bespoke work?

Sometimes I do bespoke acrylic paintings, and if somebody wants me to illustrate a book, I really enjoy doing it.  

What projects are you currently working on?

I am working on a few landscape paintings, for my upcoming exhibition in Israel, the subject is light, and for the next exhibition in Austria. 

What are your favorite items in your current collection?

I love the Cherry Blossom series of paintings. Three years ago I visited japan, and was amazed by the blossom of the cherry tree. The intensity of the pink color of the nature was really fantastic. 

How do you know when a piece is finished?

I put my art in my studio area and look at it for a few days and decide if it’s really finished or if I have to continue working on it. 

What was the first artwork you ever sold?

When I was twenty years old I sold small artistic cards at the theater hall at my home town, and I illustrated books as well. Ten years ago I sold my first acrylic painting to a good friend of mine. 

Which project have you enjoyed working on the most so far?

I enjoyed to do a series of paintings that express the intensity and magic of the desert, and the cactus bushes. The painting include intense colors with dynamic composition. Each painting can stand on its own, but they can stay together as a very big acrylic painting.

What do you want to achieve with your work and what are your wishes for the future?

My dream as an artist is to exhibit in major galleries in Israel. Europe and the US, in museums, as well as in small and unknown locations, because I think that everybody should have the opportunity to see art. Art should be accessible. I would like that children and adults who can see my art, can relate to it.

I appreciate the power of art to encourage people, to make them more energetic and optimistic. All kinds of artists have an important role in their time and day, especially in the corona times. I donate 10% of myself to children at risk.

Where can we find your work?

You can find my work at my website. On my Facebook and Instagram. You can buy a collector’s book that includes my art at the Contemporary art curator magazine. I participate at the Montez gallery in Rome until the end of the month. 

Photos: Courtesy of Michal Avrech

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