FROM JERUSALEM TO THE INFINITY OF LONDON – MICHAL RAZ ON HER LIFE AS A PAINTER

Updated: Apr 1

An interview with Art Historian Ruth Polleit Riechert


Michal Raz

Michal Raz was born in Jerusalem, Israel, in 1984. Most of her life she lived in Tel Aviv. She studied with Jacob Mishori (Painting) and Dr. Dorit Kedar (Eastern Philosophy) and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) with high honours from Beit Berl College in Israel and a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) from Slade School of Art, London. She was awarded several prizes and residencies. Her works have been shown in Israel, Europe and Latin America.


Michal, when did you start working as an artist and why? Is there a first artwork you can think of?


Since I can remember, I have been painting, drawing, writing. I always knew that I’m going to do something creative, but I wasn’t sure what. I really love music, so for a long time I thought I’m going to make video clips. When I realised you have to work with a team to do that, I changed my mind. When I was about 12 years old, my best friend and I went to painting classes together. The teacher was a very old-school kind of painter. I remember one day we were doing a still life drawing of a jar and a weird mask. After class, I went to my friend’s house, and we put the drawings we made that day on her desk and left the room. When we came back in, I looked at my friend’s drawing, and I was so excited by it and said how great it is. She looked at me and said “Michal, that is your work”. When I think back to that moment, I know something happened then.



Michal Raz, Here We Go, 2016

What impact did your first art school have? What did you make the decision to leave your home country and come to London? In what way did Slade influence your work?


My first art school had a great impact on me and my practice, mostly because of two great teachers I had. The first one was a painter (I really think he is one of the best I know) and he had a massive influence on me. The second one is a great woman who taught me Zen Buddhism, and luckily, I’m still her student.


I always wanted to try and live abroad. I decided to apply to Slade and move to London when I felt ready for it. I really love living in London – it’s so endless and fascinating, and I’m still so excited by its infinity.


Who and what is inspiring you – apart from art schools and teachers?


Music, films, books, artists, thinkers, writers, my partner, my friends…


I get inspiration from daily life, I guess that everything I experience somehow manifests itself in my artistic process in the end. I think most of allI’m inspired by songs. Music gets to me in a way nothing else does. Every painting I make is a collage of visual interpretations of sounds and words (minus the sounds and the words).


Which materials do you work with and which techniques do you prefer?


I work mainly with acrylic paint, but I use different materials and ways of creating. I like playing with materials and exploring them in unexpected ways. Every series of works has its own language and beat, and I try to find new techniques and materials to go along with that specific language and rhythm.


Michal Raz, Faux Flying, Mixed Media on Wood, 20 x 25 cm

Michal Raz, Love Triangle, Mixed Media on Wood, 20 x 25 cm

Michal Raz, Will Sprawl 1, 2019

Michal Raz, Will Sprawl 2, 2019

What do you want to express with your art?


This is maybe the biggest of all questions, and therefore I feel like I can’t answer with words. This is why I paint.



Thanks for the interview, Michal!


Selected artworks by Michal Raz are available. If you are interested please contact Ruth Polleit Riechert from RPR ART.


Artist website: www.michal-raz.com

Interview and Photos: Ruth Polleit Riechert

Read the interview in German on kunstbar.de



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