Artist Statement

My work is an investigation into my body and identity. I explore embodied and ecstatic states of spiritual experience from the ambivalent convoluted and distanced location of being a female, post-Jewish, Israeli-diaspora artist.

My process starts with video-performance that leads to making a physical object such as paintings and sculptures serve as a memento from the experience.

As an Israeli living and working in America, I approach art like a vagabond, wandering between two places both removed from and longing for, forever experiencing one through the lens of the other. My work is dedicated to the perspective of an immigrant outsider. I use my culture, beliefs, traditions and rituals in a perverse, over-the-top, satirical, playful and tongue-in-cheek manner. The result is a maelstrom of places, situations and people and fragments of their actions and objects involving desire, ritual, and border-crossing.

 

Using make up as in overtly feminine material, specifically lipstick, as a way of recording and kissing as a trace and marks, the instinctual human interaction - the kiss. The technique explores notions of passion, obsession, dedication, tenderness, longing... Through the act of kissing I create reverence and earnestness and kissing something to its existence. The lipstick with its ephemeral quality captures the fleeting moment between people, living a ghostly reminder of what it represents.

 

 

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Everyone has an interesting narrative/story. I’m chose to share mine through my art. To channel my life experiences into creating and utilizing them as content for my art.

I use art as a means of survival.  My work often pulls autobiographical strands to inspire work. It comes out of personal yet unfortunate life experiences, I draw stories of my childhood. I use that vulnerability to tell my story, moreover to expose it to the public and to deliver a message to the viewer.

 

My process often starts with video-performance that frequently leads to making a physical object. Such as paintings and sculptures serve as a memo or souvenir for the experience. My paintings are ritualistic and performative as I invent my own rituals for mark making in order to create them.  In my performances I explore the common grounds and the diversity of ethnicities through the body - a live blender of heritage, rituals, and beliefs. 

Through the body-centric nature of my work, I use my culture, beliefs, traditions and rituals to engage with different places, situations and people. I invent a maelstrom of blended rituals, fusing various fragments into actions and objects involving desire and ritual. 

 

I explore issues of femininity through the use of feminine materials. In doing this, it is a celebration and validation of Self, Women, the Femininity. The dynamic of movement in my work is influenced by my belly dancing background. A form of art which is similarly meant to emphasize body positivity, confidence, and the celebration of the woman’s body. Utilizing my background as a painter, I chose to go outside of the canvas and examine different techniques using make up materials and lipstick as a medium; while inventing my own painting ritual. I use lipstick as a way of recording and kissing, as a trace mark. The lipstick associates with the act of kissing. A kiss functions as a healing mechanism. Every kiss attempts to turn unfortunate scars/wounds of memories past into something “beautiful”, kiss the bad memories away. 

Lipstick is the closest material that captures the ephemera of touch. With the act of kissing, I kiss something to its existence, the kiss kisses itself. This connects and informs the bodily experience that informs my performance act and use of lipstick embodies my examination of identity through questioning beliefs, traditions and inherited values.

 

My practice involves creating interactive immersive installations that entails a variety of media including painting, drawing, sculpture, video and performance. My performance process evolved from performing alone to including the viewer as part of the process and intimacy. I invited the viewer to engage with the work and share the experience of a kiss and the intimate moment of the application of lipstick. Each kiss is a body, a trace, a memory. No matter who the viewer is or what they identify with, all are welcome. It becomes a community and a collaborative work. Through a performative collaborative act, we create together and the focus is on human interaction. Keeping intimate moments in a collective public environment. The private intimate act becomes a collective experience. The audience is not only the viewer, but becomes the performer, as well as, a necessary active player, collaborator, and friend. I hope the viewer engages honestly and emotionally with my work. By engaging in this intimate moment and exposing my stories and memories from within, I hope to patch up the cracks and to have viewers experience their own form of intimate healing.

© Copyright 2019. Ronit Levin Delgado - Portfolio. Design by AlizarinZ

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