With Missives, the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum
begins its new exhibition season. In keeping with the craft and design tradition of the museum, Ghiora Aharonis work strikes a chord as it deeply references India and Mumbai in particular. This marks the first time the Museum has shown an Israeli artist, and this is Mr. Aharoni's first solo exhibition in India.
Inspired by a trove of love letters written by his mother in the 1950s as an adolescent girl in Israel, Ghiora Aharoni explores universal notions of desire, ritual and courtship in the exhibition Missives. The letters which are incorporated into collages, melded with vintage phulkaris and juxtaposed with vintage snapshots and letters collected by the artist in India fashion a narrative cycle encompassing history, symbolism and imagination. Aharoni's relationship with India and his deep engagement with Indian craft traditions and craftsmen become both the instrument and the foil through which he essays this narrative of longing.
Digitally printing over-scaled reproductions of the letters on fragile Japanese paper, Aharoni transforms them into precious objects, amplifications of earnest, adolescent yearnings. The artist crumples the letters, preserving random threads of phrases and their emotion. The precious paper with incomplete text becomes a tactile yet ephemeral metaphor for concealed feelings. Displayed with vintage photographs and letters from India that represent the collective and elusive nature of experience and memory, Aharoni connects his mothers sentiments to a universal landscape.
Snippets of the letters are also embroidered on phulkaris and integrated with drawings of symbols, architecture and images of daily life observed by Aharoni during his travels in India. In both his drawings and the phulkaris on which they are embroidered, Aharoni is interested in imagery that has the potential to signify emotions: anticipation, love, memory, home, spirituality and the passage of time all of which eluded his mother and the object of her desire.
Integrating these embroidered drawings with the phulkaris precise geometric compositions creates a visual language that traverses time, geography, cultures and Aharonis own family history. Individually, these dialogues represent fragments of retroactive, yet unsentimental, memories. Collectively, they embody the experiences from the quotidian to the sublime that occur at the intersection of travel and memory.
Ghiora Aharoni is an Israeli-born artist, architect and designer who lives and works in New York City.
His work has been exhibited in galleries in New York and is in numerous private collections in the United States, Europe and Israel. Aharonis most recent exhibition, a large scale, mixed-media installation entitled The Divine Domesticated, was shown in Manhattan in May 2012. Four panels from the installation are now on permanent exhibition in the theatre lobby of 14th Street Y in Manhattan.
Aharonis New York residence and art work including pieces from his Genesis and Rondolinear sculpture series were featured in the October 2012 issue of Elle Décor U.K. in a story entitled, Art Works. Articles about his work have been published internationally in books, newspapers, journals and magazines including The New York Times Magazine, Elle Décor Italia, Ideat and New York Magazine.
He holds a Master of Architecture from Yale University and is a summa cum laude graduate of The Spitzer School of Architecture at City College. His work includes sculpture, installations, mixed media and photo-based pieces.