The Nightingale, 2020PaintingWatercolor and ink on paper7 x 7.5 in. (18 x 19 cm)Physical artwork
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Looking at Shiri Mordechay’s exotic tempestuous work the viewer cannot shake a feeling that the artist’s vision was shaped in the late 18th Century, when Romanticism, a global movement defying rationality in favor of feelings and intuition, reigned supreme. The artist’s outlandish menagerie of age and gender-defying characters and muted palette seem to have sprang from the pages of Frankenstein, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Fall of the House of Asher. To everyone’s surprise, Tales of Metamorphoses – the artist’s most recent series, her “visual interpretation” of several Romantic fairy tales, with The Nightingale by Hans Christian Andersen as a first installment - is the artist’s first ever endeavor into the realm of literature. Given Mordechay’s own mystical disposition, her selection of this Romantic fairy tale seems only logical. Mordechay’s skillful brush expands Andersen’s programmatic tale, a Romantic metaphor of nature’s overpowering technology, into an enticing tale of power struggle, deceiving appearances and creativeness's ultimate triumph over Death. The artist’s own grotesque bent perfectly matches Andersen’s intricate prose and his admiration and yearning for Oriental exotics. Executed on traditional rice paper, these small-scale airy watercolors combine Mordechay’s signature subdued earthy palette with unexpected splashes of bright blue, the color of immortality and advancement in Oriental culture. The artist expands Andersen’ s original aviary to include parrots and peacocks and even dragons, traditional feng shui symbols of hope and new beginnings. Mordechay finished Tales of Metamorphoses in the beginning of March 2020, in a trying time of an unprecedented global halt. The artist’s unique interpretation of this fine literary text inadvertently solidified its cult status, reminding the viewer that love, friendship and creativity are the greatest powers of the Universe. Tales of Metamorphoses was created under the curatorial guidance of 1Dutch Projects, a NYC based artist's management company www.1dutchprojects.com