|The paintings in Naomi Safran-Hon’s exhibition Going Home depict neglected rooms, halls, and passageways with traces of their former inhabitants and the external forces that brought about their desolation. Through creating these paintings, the artist reflects on the complicated relationship to her homeland, Israel.
The gallery space at BEKI, Safran-Hon hopes, will draw these questions of home and belonging into a Jewish context, evoking the role of the congregation as a spiritual home, and of the synagogue building as a symbolic home in our tradition, as well as the political and ethnic ideas behind the making of a Jewish collective Home.
In these pieces, Safran-Hon combines photographs of abandoned homes in Wadi Salib, a neighborhood in her hometown of Haifa, with cement, fabric, lace, and acrylic paint. These structures, which were the homes of Palestinians until the Arab-Israeli War of 1948 and the creation of the state of Israel, stand as ghosts of the past in a neighborhood that has never recovered.
Through the process of making her work, Safran-Hon reconstructs these buildings and asks us to reconsider our ideas of home and belonging. Her use of materials is bound tightly to the underlining conceptual framework of her paintings. She writes:
the artist writes:
By challenging the very concept of depiction, the paintings reconsider the stories encapsulated in domestic structures, blurring the boundaries between material and meaning, photography and painting, truth and fiction.
Born in Oxford, England, Safran-Hon grew up in Haifa, Israel. She received her B.A. in Studio Art and Art History summa cum laude from Brandeis University in 2008, and her M.F.A. from the Yale School of Art in 2010. Safran-Hon attended Skowhegan in 2012 and Art Omi in 2016. She was a 2019–20 Workspace Resident at Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. Safran-Hon had solo exhibitions at Slag Gallery, New York, RX Gallery, Paris, Brandt Gallery, Amsterdam, and Marfa Contemporary, Marfa, Texas, and group shows at the Haifa Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York, and P.P.O.W Gallery, New York. In 2020 Safran-Hon was a recipient of the BRIC Colene Brown Art Prize.
Safran-Hon’s art can be viewed on her website, www.naomisafranhon.com
At BEKI, Two Artists Channel Visions Of Home, by Al Larriva-Latt
Her work was reviewed by Seph Rodney for the New York Times in 2020;
Three doors into my blue heart in pink and orange
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