Roth has developed a new and unique art form as layered as its components – coffee, artistry, history, philosophy, emotion, and intellectual curiosity. Each artwork is a journey of imagination, reflection, and discovery. Roth manipulates his canvas through insights as he tilts the surface, spreads the medium, water-burns its density, scrapes away or adds further layers, he sees each image as predestined.
Coffee is an organic miracle with extraordinary characteristic transcending the quality of ordinary pigments. It has the ability to flow and create expressive distortions. Layering coffee amalgam creates three-dimensional depth, thus making it the ideal pigment to depict paintings of mythological, allegorical, or anthropomorphic subjects.”
SHADES OF GRAY
Born in Transylvania, Roth emigrated to Israel in 1960. His earliest images from the sixties document exactly what his more recent images do: specific, unencumbered moments. He came of age in a period when the psychedelic, beatnik sensibility and its concomitant dissidence was penetrating the culture of art-making.
Roth, however, is a street poet of a different kind. He knows that poignancy more often comes from the hard work of waiting and revising than from accidental encounters. Roth’s job, which he does with agility, is to show that a single instant, no matter where it occurs or whom it includes, can be intricate, rich, tender, familiar and redolent. And, in looking at his work, you will undoubtedly catch yourself saying, “I am not a stranger here.”
Roth has photographed in Jerusalem, Los Angeles, London and Paris, Vienna and New York, Bangkok and Tokyo. Is that why, as an international citizen he insists upon specific locations? Roth explains how photography creates “my spatial extension into the global community."
“Every photograph is a story of universal meanings, written with light,” he says. “It is not a reproduction but rather a creative process of a visual narrative where the image is the center of everything and every small detail, highlight and shadow is part of the story. I have been given the formidable privilege of creating new expressions that illuminate the colors of humankind; bringing a meaning to each image and every experience through extreme intimacy, perpetual attentiveness and deep love for the community of man.”
JERUSALEM: THE SACRED HUB
[ From: Jerusalem: the Sacred Hub ]
Jerusalem… you are rooted deeply in the heart of humanity.
We anguished mortals, in quest for hope and peace,
In our hours of meditation and solitude
Regard you as our place of longing and redemption.
Resting on the mountaintop of the holy valley,
City of the great king, sanctuary of Zion,
Your age-old walls and timeworn gates
Gently caressed by the silent sunset glow,
illuminate transcendental splendor.
House of Yahweh
Tapestry city of sacred twills,
To each succeeding generation you are
the Covenant of mount Moriah.
You are the vital pulse of Life itself, where I would
make my destined rendezvous with death, the
all-embracing crowning beauty… my Jerusalem.
- Avi Roth (Jerusalem, 2018)