Ayala Netzer (b. 1987) is an artist living and working in Israel. She received a BFA with Honors in Screen-Based Arts (Video and New Media Concentration and an MFA with Honors in Fine Art from Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design.
I am a painter and video artist. I work with these two media both combined (in animated films or video/painting installations) and separately. My main focus at present takes the form of a personal journal, dealing with the space between the personal-autobiographical, and the general-social, which reflects on the cultural-political dimension. I derive the world I create mainly from the external images that surround me: rather than drawn from my own imagination, they are obtained through observation (for example, via Google Images or my own documentary footage). Images provide me with a vehicle for expressing emotions, passions and the most private experiences. The personal becomes universal and the universal returns to the personal.
My stylistic æsthetic is naïve by choice and influenced by Outsider Art. My works are not truly naïve; rather, they preserve a primal quality that renders them direct and not over-processed. The naïve, almost puerile style emphasizes the viewer’s own discomfort in dealing with works whose contents are explicitly sexual, violent and compulsive, and directs the mind to the mental dissonance that the childish world, which is seemingly pure and beautiful, is neither inconsistent with nor devoid of violence, thus de-idealizing childhood and children. The influence of Outsider Art is not restricted to subject matter; the style of painting is a statement in and of itself: it is an overtly “incorrect” style or technique. The painting is not your classical “oil on canvas,” but rather “inferior” drawing with markers in small format, or in modified format, presented “incorrectly”: for example, a hand-drawn drawing projected on the wall or a digital drawing that instead of being presented on its source medium – the screen – is printed on paper to resemble a photograph or print. The digital drawing itself is also created with the basest low-tech means.
The incessant documentation of my daily life presents questions of reality and the ability or feasibility of art to change reality: how does a drawing of an event that just happened change or distort the fresh memory? What is the meaning of an event from the recent past, staged against an event from the more distant past, and what is the new narrative that emerges in the juxtaposition of the two? What meaning does a private event hold for the public eye, and what is the role of the self-documenting artist in society? My work aspires to create new perspective by dealing with these and other questions. On one hand, my perspective is not entirely personal, and on the other, it does not identify with a collective narrative that tries to flatten and appropriate the personal and transform it into historical or cultural generic forms.