Anatoly Kaplan: The Enchanted Artist

Oryan Galster

August 01, 2023


Israel Saba / Beit Oren, Oryan Galster, Lithograph, 15*20 cm, 2023

To the Foundation, Oryan Galster, Lithograph, 20*15 cm, 2023

Print 1: “Israel Saba – Bet Oren”
As the daughter of a Kibbutznik from Beit Oren who became religious, the Internationale and the erasure of all connected to Torah and Jewish tradition left a deep scar in me, a wound of enormous loss. Delving into the world of Kaplan and other Jews from Soviet Russia, I understood that a part of this also seeped into my consciousness as my father’s daughter, the daughter of the late Benny Gal. David Polus’ statue “The Spirit of Israel Past” stands in Beit Oren. The artist, a contemporary of Kaplan’s, grew up in the Russian empire, and his work depicts a traditional Jew guiding a young Kibbutz settler, a framer to be. I first saw this sculpture as a child. I feel that the harmony represented by it never really existed at the time, and unfortunately this divide is even more present today.

Print 2: “To the Foundation”
For my second print, I brought the silhouette of the statue into my world of color patches, drawings, and abstracts. When preparing to create the second print, I found that the same struggle depicted in the image of the statue in the first print is taking place inside me as well. How far am I allowed to move away from the original or from Kaplan’s formal subject? How close to me can I bring all those layers of history on the one hand, while adding mine, independently, on the other?
I realized that the best compliment one can give an artist is not only to be in accord with them, but to add a new level, without fear, believing and knowing that everything is connected.

Oryan Galster (b. 1984)
Multi-disciplinary artist and lecturer. Lives and works in Jerusalem. Holds a first degree from the multi-disciplinary art department in Shenkar College, and is currently studying for her second degree in feminism and gender in Judaism at the Shechter Institute. Oryan’s art explores existential themes through abstract and symbolic expression, with her work exhibited in various museums and galleries in Israel and abroad. Winner of the Adams Prize for Young Artists, 2019.

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