Jewish artist: Zoya Cherkassky, Pravda Israel Museum

From here and there, today and yesterday…

Zoya Cherkassky, “Pravda” Israel Museum,

Born in Kiev, the painter Zoya Cherkassky arrived in Israel with her family in the 1990s during the emigration of Jewish families from the USSR. Her oil paintings recount the experience of the new Russian immigrants.


They show, among other things, what the young newcomers sometimes experienced and the problems they had with religious in the confrontation of two cultures. This sometimes underlines certain dysfunctions in Israeli society where the welcome was not necessarily the one hoped for.

Zoya Cherkassky, co-founded the group “New Barbizon” with other women artists from the Soviet Union like her. And their images created debates about sexual harassment and certain stereotypes. By using the title of the great Russian newspaper Pravda (The Truth) for her exhibition, she shows that this is hidden elsewhere as it is here.

The artist also makes fun of some of the immigrants from his own country – especially the Ultra-Orthodox, where in one of his paintings they practice circumcision (not necessarily common in some Jewish communities in Russia) to denounce the trauma of their “patients”. But all this with a sometimes devastating and unvarnished humour…

In her diptych “Friday in the Projects”, for example, she also shows the poverty of some Israelis, social differences and the violence of a world subject to what surrounds it: missile attacks, for example. The vision is made to denounce certain lies but also the risks in a country subject to the torments of hell. It is all the more painful for those who came hoping for n eden. But peace of soul has a price. The artist does not hide it but it is in order to continue a fight for inner and outer peace and light.

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