Yishay Hogesta is an emerging artist whose art practice relies on minimalistic abstraction. By rejecting the notion of pure representation in his imagery, Hogesta’s visual language employs the method of minimalist automatism. His painting style incorporates elements of delicacy and sensibility into the bolder tangible gestures of contemporary abstract expressionism. Employing subtractive techniques on canvas, the Israeli artist vigorously creates a compilation of untitled paintings inspired by his reductivist method. Minimalistic mark-making, unbalanced application of colour on the canvas’ surface and polychromatic brushes with an unfinished touch, that usually cross each other, identify Hogesta’s imagery.
Words: Yannis Kostarias
Unarranged narratives manage to create a distinguished painting outcome that conveys a pliable immediacy for the viewer. The paradox in Hogesta’s work is inevitable; vague compositions rendered in a spontaneous appearance are accompanied by a well-coordinated painterly language imbued with emphatic components of abstraction. In addition, these aesthetical contradictions initiate more forms of communication between these obscure scribbles, flexible brushstrokes and irregular lines. Besides his expressive and clumsy gestures on canvas, the colour palette remains clement and balmy using nude backgrounds and earthly tones around. This semi-comprehensible optical allegory establishes a joyful, intellectual and dynamic juxtaposition emphasizing the artist’s concentration on simplistic forms, complex compositions and direct sentimental attachments that cultivate excitement.
The portrayal of these unfinished forms and lines dominate his work and make it rather distinctive. Seemingly incomplete ideas rendered in an abstract approach do not only reveal an aesthetic coherence in Hogesta’s paintings, but also showcase the purposeful concept behind his body of work. Each painting retains its own individuality and is being separately treated by the artist, who incites a series of different feelings, thoughts and conscious resolutions. The painter’s various child-like structures -bold and polychromatic gestural expressions within his spatial illusion- become the new vocabulary of traces and lines on the surface of his canvases. Hogesta’s artistic interplay integrates these unprocessed theories and qualities that remarkably do not stay still or undone but reconfigure the whole narrative into new painterly possibilities.
Born in Israel in 1990, Yishay Hogesta lives and works in Tel Aviv. In 2018 the artist completed his studies in Film and Arts at the Minshar School of Arts. He has mainly exhibit his work in Israel; Levinsky Library Annual Group Show, Beit Binyamini, Tel Aviv (2020), Limbo, two person show, Derech Yafo 9, Tel Aviv (2019), After Midnight, group show, Herzl 16, Tel Aviv, (2019), Oil Filters, group show, Sublet, Jerusalem (2019), Shinus Motnaim, group show, Sussie Art Bay, Tel Aviv (2018).
Can you tell us about the process of making your work?
Most of the times I have a certain colour or shape in mind that I want to try out, it can also be a specific colour combination. Once I applied what I had in mind it’s like I pushed a cart down a hill and the painting just starts rolling.
I work pretty fast, using sticks or my hand most of the time. Sometimes I have a certain gesture that needs to happen and it comes very impulsively, so it is much faster to use my hand or sticks than a brush.
How would you define your work in a few words (ideally in 3 words)?
Immediate, Direct, Impulsive.
Can you name any artists you, lately or generally, take inspiration from?
There are many artists from whom I draw inspiration, but I guess the ones that influence me the most are Israeli artists, Raffie Lavie and lea Nikel, and international artists, the great, Cy Twombly. Lately I’m very into the amazing works of contemporary painter Ammon Rost. Lastly, Jenny Brosinsky, whose colour schemes I find very inspiring.
How do you know when a painting is finished?
For me I just feel that there is nothing left for me to add when I look at the painting, that it’s well balanced and everything that needs to be there is there. Or sometimes there’s stuff I don’t like in the work but I don’t know how to deal with them, so it means the painting is not good and I’m probably going to throw it away.
What about the place where you work? What’s your studio space like, and how does it affect your process?
My studio is at my home, which has its pros and cons. I like having my works around me and that I know I can always work on a painting, look at it and really have the time to see what I need to work on, because a lot of the time the moments when I see something about the painting that I need to add or that bothers me only comes after a while of just being around the painting and looking at it. On the other hand, space is a big issue and once in a while I need to move some of the works to my Mom’s house. I also think there is something nice about having a separation between your work environment and where you live.
What do you hope audiences will take from your work?
I hope the audience will find beauty and sensitivity in my paintings and through those perceptions they might have a connection to me and the abstract values I’m dealing with in my works.
Are you a morning person or a night owl?
Definitely a morning person
Is the glass half empty or half full?
© All images are courtesy of the artist