Igal Guinerman, 41, is a self-taught artist currently living in Jerusalem, Israel. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from the University of Chile in Santiago, Chile, and then became observant and studied Jewish Law and Jewish Philosophy at Aish HaTorah and other yeshivas in Jerusalem.

“Tefillin Composition”, 23.6 H x 31.4 W inches, Acrylic on Canvas, 2021 (Courtesy)

“I started painting intuitively in architecture school and my artwork became somewhat successful right from the start. I showed some of my paintings in art exhibitions and local galleries and sold them to friends, family, and art collectors. When I finished architecture school, I felt something was missing and started wrestling with philosophical issues which eventually led to me to exploring Judaism seriously. I moved to Israel and for ten years I focused almost exclusively on Torah learning. A couple of years ago – with a little extra push thanks to the Covid pandemic – I instinctively returned to painting.”

“Portrait of Rabbi Elchonon Wasserman” & “The Father of Prisoners”, Acrylic on Canvas, 2021 (Courtesy)

In the beginning, his paintings were mainly abstract, but after a decade hiatus in which he immersed himself in Jewish studies and spiritual growth, his abstract work became inundated with Jewish themes and imagery.

“Prayer” 15.7 H x 47.2 W inches, Triptych, Acrylic on Canvas, 2021 (Courtesy)

Artistically speaking, his work is a balancing act of colors, shapes, lines, textures, abstraction, figurativeness, and even text. His pieces are intuitive, raw, and emotional, with strong colors and deep contrasts.

“Small Leather Boxes”, 20 H x 27.5 W inches, Diptych, Acrylic on Canvas, 2021 (Courtesy)

Guinerman is fascinated with Jewish aesthetics. He borrows powerful visual imagery from religious figures, rituals, traditions, and sacred objects, and blends them with abstract forms in a combination of spiritual and physical narratives. These elements are sharply defined – and other times very subtly defined – with lines or shapes, and sometimes even painted over to be revealed again.

Igal Guinerman

Besides his artistic passion, Igal became very involved with Jewish outreach. “I had the privilege of meeting Rabbi Noah Weinberg zt”l during his last years. He inspired me to take responsibility for the Jewish people. So when an opportunity to start working at AishLatino.com (Aish.com in Spanish) arose, I took it right away. I started as assistant editor, and then managing editor, and today I’m the editor-in-chief of AishLatino.com. It's a privilege to reach hundreds of thousands online and working closely with the Aish.com team in Jerusalem”.

“A Visionary (Portrait of Rabbi Noah Weinberg zt’l)”, 31.4 H x 23.6 W inches, Acrylic on Canvas, 2021 (Courtesy)

“Some people think that being religious somehow limits your art. But the truth is that constriction is the essence of art. You see, when an artist draws a line, adds a tiny spec, or paints a subtle gesture in his painting, he is trying to express his vast and complex inner world through a very limited and constricted physical act, and I think that’s a very powerful Jewish idea. The spiritual world is infinite, and the material world is finite. That means that for spirituality to manifest itself in this world there must be a process of constriction and limitation. We must limit ourselves, literally and metaphorically, to bring spirituality to the world. That is exactly what an artist does when he creates his artwork.”

“Wrapped Around My Head”, 31.4 H x 23.6 W inches, Acrylic on Canvas, 2021 (Courtesy)

His latest works are on display online and on-site at Rosenbach Contemporary, a well-known contemporary Israeli fine art gallery on Jerusalem’s King David Street.

“I’m so happy to be exhibiting my work once again and getting feedback from colleagues and friends after such a long time away from the art scene. Art is a powerful form of communication, but for that to happen there must be a dialogue between the artist and the observer. It can’t be a monologue”.

Some of his works are available right now – on sale for a limited time – at Rosenbach Contemporary www.rosenbach.co.il.