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Interviews

Zigi Ben Haim - ART CART Oral Histories

Ben Haim, Zigi; Wang, Rita; Research Center for Arts and Culture

The interview with New York City artist Zigi Ben-Haim, focusing on the back stories behind his works from the 1970s until the present, is a journey that leads through different cultures and life experiences. The artist’s work in the ‘70s registers his first step to balance the differences between his Israeli cultural tradition and his new life in the US when he first moved to the country. It was from that time on that the urban landscape of SoHo and his travelling experiences became his primary sources of inspiration, and that “surface,” “materials from the outside of the art world,” “the old and the new,” and “culture and nature” became the key notions he has been painstakingly exploring through his entire career trajectory. When it came to his projects in the ‘80s and ‘90s, the ants carrying leaves in the rain forest of Costa Rica, the various figurines of gods in a Russian Church, and the tire of the Columbia Shuttle he got from NASA all added layers to Zigi’s art that he considers as the footprints of his life. This interview reveals how art has played an important role in maintaining a consistent and purposeful life for the artist, during which he has always reflected on the old but simultaneously adopted the new.

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For more information about the ART CART project, please visit their website: http://artsandcultureresearch.org/artcart.

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