Paintings examine the boundaries between visual and non-visual perception through the union of Braille poetry and painting. Nachum has developed a process which he sculpts raised Braille cells on the surface of the canvas.
Written by the artist, poems explore the conflict between the instinctive and the demands of civilization. Observers become participants and use multiple senses.
Nachum sees the work as an “eye opener”, a vehicle to allow viewers to confront their own existential apprehensions. Subjects vision is often obscured, representing that man’s “blindness” caused by displaced values and desire. One recurring subject is the child with a gold crown covering his or her eyes. (If They Let Us, 2016, ANTI, Album Cover, RIHANNA).
Flip paintings are conceptual paintings in which the work is viewed from the side that is typically obscured or considered the back of the canvas. A process which the artists refers to as “dematerialization”. The painted image now faces the wall, and the back of the canvas now faces the viewer; on the back the artist sculpts with Braille text which unveils or describes the hidden image.
In “Moonlight” 2019, the Braille translates to: “A naked man dancing” Viewers must use their imagination. Experiences are individualized as each viewer internally constructs an image or scene unique to the imagination.
In a form of institutional critique the artists starts the work and then allows the viewer to complete it. The viewers response can be seen as a direct reflection of cultural values and individual societies.
2011 Sculpture 108 x 50 x 60 Inches / 275 x 127 x 127 cm
These experimental paintings utilize art, historical elements, conceptualism, and interactivity to explore complex psych-visual factors like sensory substitution, hypnagogic imagery, internal representations, and mental rotation.
Nachum investigates visual perception by using himself as a conduit to create paintings that use self-referential content and media as a substitute for the imagined experience. In this series, the artist begins his painting process by rendering a simple geometric form, which he refers to as the “idea”. These shapes serves as basic thought forms meant to evoke sensory qualities the artist wishes the viewer to experience such as weight, height, gravity, and the appearance of light as a material presence.
Once these initial shapes are complete, Nachum begins to work impulsively and freely, as he experiments with various materials and methods, utilizing memories, art history and photographs as stimuli while moving interchangeably between styles to highlight a mix of contrasting traditions and practices. He works alone, erasing, concealing, adding and subtracting⎯ allowing his imagination and memories to take form. The layered detailed surfaces inhabit the uneasy space between narrative and abstract, revealing the animalistic qualities of the inner-self including aggressive, sexual, and spiritual impulses.A method of reference for social constructionism through an abstract process based on reality, knowledge, and trans-historical paradigms.
2019 Chair 36.28 x 17.50 x 19.65 Inches / 92.15 x 44.45 x 49.91 cm
Fire Paintings utilize Braille Poetry and Ash, Braille is sculpted onto canvas and wood frames are burned until charcoal. The paintings are executed with the participation of people who are blind, leaving fingerprints as documentation of human contact. Nachum employs the system of raised Braille cells sculpting them in rectangular columns across the canvas. As collaborators run their fingers from the frame to Braille, evidence of human interaction remains on the canvas. Nachum encourages people to continue touch and interact with the work, breaking the barrier between viewer and “sacred object”. After repeated contact the work evolves and remains always alive. The interaction adds an element of performance; the artist starts a painting and leaves the viewer to complete it.
Using himself as a conduit Nachum blindfolded himself for 196 hours, a period of seven consecutive days. During this period he focused on painting and poetry. He experienced vivid an intense visual hallucinations and periods of complete and total darkness where he felt detached from the physical world. After the first day the hallucinations then became a constant presence. They began with flashes of light and color, and progressed into vivid landscapes, human forms and childhood memories. He describes the experience as spiritual and transformative. It provided him with a deeper understanding of his non-visual senses, and challenged him to offer a way into his work for people who otherwise may never “experience” a painting.
2015 Oil and Ash on Canvas 76 x 54 Inches / 193 x 137 cm
The exhibit consists of five large-scale portraits in oil. The subject in each of these portraits is blind. Extremely detailed and precise, each painting took more than a year to complete. Once completed the artist will ask his subjects to paint a portrait of themselves on top of his finished work. The super-realistic work will be in a sense “violated” by a primordial and expressive image; outer and inner visions will collide in one unique and compelling form of expression.
The intervention is a “rebirth”. The process is the content and the finished painting is a product of the experience. The works further examine how identity is constructed and its subjective nature.
2019 Chair 31.54 x 20.70 x 30.59 Inches / 80.11 x 52.57 x 77.70 cm
Color Blind is a series of experimental paintings based on Isihara Color Vision Tests, used to evaluate color blindness. Images are formed by color field circles that function as “pixels”, contrasting colors and complex pictorial scenes invade the viewer’s space. Color field circles intersect with the visual content, form and figure become one and the same, confirming that human perception is variable and considerably subjective.
Nachum applies an adhesive stencil to the canvas, and paints in oil on top. The stencil is then peeled from the canvas to reveal color field circles that disguise the complex imagery and act as color vision tests. The artist describes the act of peeling the stencil off of the canvas as peeling human skin off of flesh.
Viewers interact with the work, in the attempt to discover the underlying content. Nachum paints scenes and images and disconnects them form their expected contexts, reducing them to color field circles. Nachum exploits the expressive power of form and color with an acrid sense of humor.
2015 Oil on Canvas 73.5 Inches / 186 cm (Diameter)
Using himself as a conduit Nachum blindfolded himself for 196 hours a period of 7 consecutive days. During this period he focused on automatic sketching and writing while conducting a series of interviews with people who are blind. This challenged the artist to offer a way into his work for people who would otherwise never experience a painting. From his sketches and text, he developed a series of animal paintings, these paintings depict animals in new form. The paintings are a result of the conversations held with his participants and the empathetic awareness he gained understanding the difficulty a person born blind may have contextualizing wild animals. The Braille text on each canvas translates to the American-dictionary description of each animal executed in oil, a paradox to the complexity of the paintings.
Paintings examine visual and non-visual perception. He sculpts raised Braille cells on the surface of the canvases. The fractured plane serves as a counter balance to the meticulously executed images in oil. Embedded within the confines of a painting, are poems which reveal the artists internal conflict between the instinctive and the demands of civilization. The merging of painting and Braille poetry transforms oberservers into participants and requires the use of multiple senses. Nachum sees his work as a vehicle to allow viewers to confront their own existential apprehensions. He often paints figures, whose vision is obscured, suggesting that man’s blindness is caused by displaced values and desire.