Rustlings in a Divided Garden

Karni Am-Ad
Culture and Art Hakibbutz
April 10, 2003

In these times, when every artist aspires to acquire for himself an identifying line that will distinguish him from others and at the same time will desire to maintain a trendy style, the paintings of Assaf Romano arrive to mock at the viewer and at what is “accepted”.
In one breath and in a single space he hands abstract and figurative paintings in a round or rectangular format, on wood or canvas, and also printings on paper.
Everything flows, stimulating the senses, and often raising wonder whether it is the same artist who creates these “divided gardens” (as Avi Ifergan the curator defines it).

The exhibition leaflet mentions the hidden link between the works that could only be interpreted as: “I do not believe in random chance, because the conscious mind is alert in finding materials that interest you”. Ifergan claims that Romano is “a collector of images that appear in various combinations” and they are always fated to exist “in the twilight area between the original and the copy”.

The attempt to safely navigate the paths of the divided garden is doomed to failure. What remains is to enjoy the lovely brush strokes of Assaf Romano, to dive into the phosphorescent transparency of color daubs that imprison a piece of the world as if in a laboratory tray. To run with tiger Shlomzion from one end of the canvas to the other and to be amazed at the magical moment in which Romano captured it with his brush. To see a boy sleeping on a  bench with one hand thrust into the opening of his trousers.

All the paintings, whether large or small, abstract or figurative, are done with impressive skill and meditative placidity which is not typical of young artists like him. Walking through the exhibition is like searching for approach roads and traffic lights. In any case, it is not a search for escape routes. It is good to sense the rustlings of Romano and to remain another brief hour in the divided garden.