I have met Ofir Dor about two years ago through Roi Alter, who was at the time the curator of Framed.
On our first meeting, I looked into Ofir’s eyes and knew immediately that he will be a significant source of inspiration for me. and I was right.
Not too far after, I got to see his paintings. Then it became perfectly clear – Ofir is one of those very rare people who are completely and utterly devoted to their art. Ofir’s paintings will take you into a deep spiritual, sexual, philosophical and emotional journey.
I am very happy to host Ofir and his magnifisant paintings at the opening events of Framed’s new location.
Here is a beautiful and inspiring interview with Ofir. enjoy –
was there a specific moment in which you’ve made a decision to be an artist?
I must have been around 16 when I started realizing, in a playful way, the potential in painting, as a means of communication, as a place to experience and express. Following this path I never wanted to do anything else.
what is painting to you?
A state of mind unlike any other I know. A sensual emotional philosophy, an excited concentration. It’s carving the finest forms of courage out of your fears, confusion and doubts. A place to ask what’s good? what’s beautiful? what’s true?
what music do you listen to while working in the studio? would you say the music reflects into your paintings?
Music, yes, music is important. There are albums I play again and again, specific things, sometimes over long periods of time, I study them and they project and encourage. In the past two years I was listening a lot to Coltrane’s late recordings, this way of managing energy, this deliverance of soul and emotion as in Nina Simone, Chet Baker, Jimmy Hendrix. In their devotion they have something of the saint, and not in a righteous way, rather as a true manifestation of freedom, of humanhood. This maneuvering of energy through complex forms is something I want painting to have. To blow power into a theme, with no morbidity. To deliver beauty, with no cream on-top, and life (its tragedy too) with no grief – these are the lessons to be learned from these musicians.
which artists inspire you these days?
Well, the masters; Titian, De La Croix, Rubens, Renoir, Matisse, Soutine, Picasso, Balthus, Duchamp, De Kooning, Van Gogh, Munch, Kitaj, Auerbach, Hockney, Bacon and many, many others.
what drives you to begin a new painting? And what are the first steps of a painting?
Something like a vessel who’s full and spilling, the ‘idea’ is not so important, the drive is a sentiment, and desire. The first touch is such a beautiful moment. I’ll walk towards it with charcoal in hand, make some general marks, basic forms and composition will appear. Then I’ll mix some colors, diluted to become very liquid, and work out the shapes into something more define, more permanent.
Looking-for and finding, losing and looking-for again.
who are the characters in your paintings? where do they come from?
I sometimes wonder myself. The most beautiful woman in the world, merged with Miss Piggy. Someone I knew many years ago and dreamt-of again while reading a novel. A horse Jockey who’s a clown and ex-charmer. Then me again, maybe from another angle, or dressed up as a farmer, or a lumberman. The painter, a man with a camera, looking at things, not entirely in them. It’s like in a dream, you might know the characters though you’re not sure where from.