David Nipo:

Beer Sheva Valley –  Heavy Lands and Shinitzky's Hydraulic-Pneumatic Disc

 

Oil on canvas mounted on wood, 2007 - 2010, 120 X 303 cm


David Nipo's new landscape painting, completed after three years of work, depicts the vast, arid, sun-bleached lands of the Beer Sheva Valley. The single desert landscape painting started in the afternoon, continued to the early morning light and through to the twilight hours, attempts to create a synthesis of endless moments, one of which was chosen to spark the magic.

 

The painting responds to the rhythm of the crumbled clods of earth and the transition between the shades of the trails and pathways making their way through the plowed fields; conscious of the heavy agricultural soil covering the sediments of ancient civilizations, while looking up to the emptiness of the sky, as it is challenged by the mystery of the all-dissolving light. Only stains of barely visible white houses that create a precise balance between the currents and the weight of the wires in space and the crowded treetops of the dusty eucalyptus trees, have survived the vast stretches of emptiness; implementing the only concrete measure in the horizontal abstraction of heaven and earth. The painting, like a deep breath, tempts the viewer's gaze as well as the self inquiry into whether there is substance in what he sees.


The work's title comes from Meir Ariel's song "Man Is No More Than" that opens with the words "man is nothing but / a sophisticated piece of mud […] mud that dries - crumbles. A man who dries – also crumbles, but sophisticatedly.... "

 

Ariel expresses his existential reflections through an agricultural metaphor of heavy soil - hard dirt which you need only "pass over with Shinitzky's hydraulic-pneumatic disc to turn it into a bed of seeds." The hydraulic disc – that crumbles the chunks of earth after the deep plowing of the plow (named "Shinitzky's" after the local company which imports them) – serves Nipo as a literal-suggestive metaphor, which has no visual presence in the painting, and hints at the invisible processes the dust undergoes - disintegration – as "from dust you came and to dust you were taken – soaked in many kinds of liquids," as the singer-songwriter Meir Ariel wrote, and from this springs a "bed of seeds," and so on and so forth –

 

Tali Tamir

July 2010