Ilan Ashkenazi

Ilan Ashkenazi was born in 1957 in Tel Aviv.  At the age of five, he was seated in the lap of his father, a noted painter who would show him art books.  The elder Ashkenazi pointed to a picture and said "See, this is a Brancusi."  Young Ilan immediately fell in love with the possibilities inherent in the art of sculpture.  Ashkenazi spent the first eighteen years of his adult life in Jerusalem devoted to religious studies - of this time he says "the only work of my ten fingers was to turn the pages of religious books" - before deciding to seek the manifestation of the spiritual world in material creation.

Ashkenazi has mined inspiration in sculptures from the neolithic period to our times in search of "the secret of shape," that ineffable quality that gives a three dimensional form profound meaning.  Informed by his deep relationship with Kabbalah and spiritual practice, Ashkenazi is engaged in a lifelong quest to create sculptures that "both please the eye and capture the magnificence of God."

"Ryu - Dragon" (2012) a "life size" sculpture in steel, copper and glass of an Asian water dragon, was created by Ashkenazi at the behest of gallerist Barry Ellsworth in celebration of the "year of the dragon."  In this sculpture, Ashkenazi's symbolic beliefs about corporal existence have for the first time taken the form of an Asian deity.

The expression of my art is the yearning for the sublime world, from which we came, and to which we long to return.  I pray that my work affects the lives of other people as it has affected mine.  May all who live in this world be uplifted through divine intention."