Tzuri Gueta

The underwater world is a source of inspiration for Tzuri Gueta, as expressed by his collaborations with the world's leading fashion brands, such as Chanel, Issey Miyake, Jean Paul Gaultier, Christian Lacroix, Thierry Mugler, Christian Dior, Giorgio Armani, Balenciaga, Louis Vuitton and Karl Lagerfeld; in his studies at the Department of Textile Design of the Shenkar College of Engineering and Design; and even as a young child growing up by the Givat Olga beach. At the age of three he put his head into the water, and already looked with wonderment at the magical world he had discovered: the flora, corals and reefs.

Guetta's artworks are exhibited and sold around the world, including at the Pompidou Center in Paris, the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York, the The Royal art academy, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art and others. Much like a painter relates to his canvas and a sculpture to stone, Gueta considers fabric to be his foundation, a starting point for integrating art, fashion, design and textiles; into which he introduces advanced science and technological advancements of his own creation that have been registered as international patents. In this way, he fascinatingly demonstrates the potential inherent to the encounter between traditional techniques, innovative technologies and the human factor.

The linkage between traditional lace fabric and his sophisticated use of silicone, and the colorful underwater motifs that are interwoven in his work, create a mesmerizing and impressive effect. His designs integrate silicone polymer with fabrics: using a complex technological process, he injects polymeric substances that pass through the fabric, creating an abundance of diverse and colorful textures. The softness and elasticity of the silicone enable him the creation of organic environments and endless textures with a wild appearance: one thing blends into the other and grows in poetic harmony, emanating from an elaborate combination of volume, material and intense colorfulness: bright red, pearl white; translucent, clear and opaque.

In continuation of his fascination with the underwater world, in recent years Gueta has been interested in the work of environmental organizations and participated in dives in the Polynesian islands of the South Pacific. There he was exposed to a unique natural phenomenon: for an incomprehensible reason, probably associated with global warming, the corals have been losing their color, a phenomenon dubbed coral bleaching.

"When you dive into the deep water and see the white corals, you understand how nature expresses sadness", says Gueta. "And when the corals are sick, the entirety of the water is sick; all the fish disappear. There is something very poetic about this phenomenon, to see the bleaching of the corals up close." Similarly, the sculptural work created especially for Fresh Paint Fair, illustrates the process of coral bleaching, in hope of stimulating social awareness to their importance in Earth's life cycle.

"Even when I get flowers, I always turn them upside down, I am more interested in seeing their roots", adds Guetta, "and similarly, also the artwork descending from the ceiling in the Fresh Paint exhibition space: it creates an underwater landscape of roots that plunge to the depths, just like diving to depths". Thus, like the ancient search for the Alchemist's Stone that reveals the secret of creation by transforming a simple material to an expensive one (gold), Gueta is part of a select group of contemporary artists, casting new life into existing materials; taking a material that has no value or shape, and reinventing it, just like in the process of creation.

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