© Sigal Miller 2019

Sigal Miller

Israeli Artist

Artist Statement

I was born in Haifa in 1965. I think that from the moment I could hold a pencil the passion for painting was born within me. This passion grew as I grew, and with the years I realized that without painting I would not truly feel alive.

The paintbrush in my hand hesitates at the beginning, but the more relaxed I become, brushing away my thoughts, the paintbrush receives a life of its own, which dominates me. It starts marking the canvas with stormy paint stains, quick brush strokes, and drips of color leaking down the canvas. Without a paintbrush in my hand and paints to liven the canvas I have nothing, without art my life has no meaning. Every new piece of art fills me with life and gives me a great, unparalleled happiness. It makes me feel as if I can fly in the air, fly very high.

I have always painted, but I made my first steps in painting alongside my beloved grandmother, who first ventured into art at an old age. Together we learned the basics. We would sit and sketch pencil and coal drawings, and talk for hours about the basic concepts of art: compositions, light and shadows. Those hours I spent with her deepened my love for art even further.

During my high School studies, I took an art class taught by a wonderful artist Dan Livni. Later, as I pursued art further, I moved to Ein Hod, an Artist village, and continued my education under the tutelage of Ed Sarnof and Francin Lasri.

As my children grew older, so too did my art evolve. I continued my journey, learning more about myself, trying to understand where I am going and what moves me from the inside.

I can say about myself that I am a woman of many opposites. On one hand I can be very quiet and sensitive. An introvert, with conformist tendencies, leading a calculated, focused life as a public school teacher. On the other hand, I am a very passionate, angry woman. I relate easily to the extreme, the exhibitionist. I want to observe others thriving in the freedom of spontaneity; to live in the moment; to breath, touch, explore. I bring to the canvas a large range of my feelings, feelings from within me: my sexuality, my passion, my pain, my loneliness, my yearning for love, as well as my voyeurism of those emotions in others.

 

The woman's body with its curves has long fascinated me and for many years I have found myself focusing on the naked female form. The paintings I created were realistic, boldly expressive, utilizing evocative colors: deep red, turquoise, dark ochre. The acrylic and oil paintings growing to the size of a real human body.

In 2005, after studying with the late painter Zvi Israel, I had my first exhibition of naked women.  I later participated in some group exhibitions, and in 2008 I had a solo show exhibiting nude self portraits. This exhibition was created after my divorce in the wake of my reinvigoration, when I discovered the power of sexuality. My soul was crying out for a release of self expression through art. I looked for a photographer who would take pictures of me naked. I re-imagined those photographs to portray the proclaimed shift in my work. No longer was the female form “other” and romanticized through the use of fantastic color schemes, it was now mine, my naturally colored skin set against a dark, dramatic background. This was an outcry of my soul and my exhibitionism. I painted as the rage flowed through me and out of my brush. Parallel to my transformation, I experienced a profound crisis with my children, who could not understand this urge to be reborn. I could not stifle the flame inside me, for me this was a question of life or death. I knew I needed to come out with this exhibition, the judgment and questioning was suffocating.

 
In the years after, I continued painting myself and my life, but no more nude portraits. Instead, I focused on the feelings of the loneliness I felt. I studied with the painter Amir Shafat who taught me the techniques that I was lacking. I started to paint relationships and feelings of couples, focusing on the love and passion I was missing in my own life. I worked with models, created scenes, and posed them for a photographer. I then, used those photos as inspiration for my paintings.

In the last few months, I have turned my focus to people who do not conform to our society's binary gender separation. As we slowly open up to the shades of gender that exist among us, I have begun to paint relationships between men and men, woman and women. I decided to get out of my small world and see the other. I would like to express my openness, my belief that everyone has a right to live his or her own life the way he or she chooses to live. I wanted to express those feelings in my art.

Since I started to paint those relationships, I am very excited. I was excited to meet with real couples who took part in those photography session which feed in to my paintings. I feel that my paintings express the real feelings that those people share with each other and with me. I am happy to put on canvas those feelings of genuine love with no regard for the different genders which express it. I use a mixed medium of oil and coal colors on big sheets of canvas. The style is realistic but the backgrounds are sometimes free and more expressive. On the other hand this style is a clear analogy to the person who is portrayed in a very detailed manner.

For me, the sky is the limit. I continue to dream, to create and pour into my work these newly discovered feelings of honesty, openness, and vibrancy of these relationships. This work brings me joy, I look toward to every new day with excitement.

Single Exhibitions: 

2005 -        A single exhibition in Kastra Center for art, Haifa

2008 -        A single exhibition "A scent of a woman in my room" at the Horas Richter Gallery, Jaffa

 

Group Exhibitions

2007          A group exhibition in the "Woman Festival", Kastra Center for art, Haifa

2007          Yearly Art Exhibition, the Artists' House in Haifa

2011          Woman's Look Man's look, The Artists' House in Haifa

2011-2013 Exhibition Days in the offices of Starcom Company, Ramat Gan

2014          Yearly Exhibition, the Artists' House in Haifa

2015          Yearly Exhibition, the Artists' House in Haifa

2016          Human  View, Yad Le Banim, Hod Hasharon

2016          Create the Instinct, Gan Haiir Galery, Tel-Aviv

2018           "Emotions", Exhibition, the Artists' House in Haifa

2018           " Talking bags", Exhibition, The house of Zioney America