Donkey, 2004, ink print, courtesy of the artist
Noa Zait is exhibiting two series of photographs that respond to painting in different ways. Three of the photographs were taken in Paris, and they reflect a world familiar to us, primarily, through painting: The monkeys' mountain in the zoo may remind us of Cézanne's paintings of Mount St. Victoire; people laying in the park alongside the river banks are reminiscent of a Seurat painting; and the Botanical Gardens echo 18th century French landscape paintings. It seems that for Zait, these sceneries represent a world of paintings more than they signify a reality. In the most romantic and trivial sense, Paris is a painting; Paris is a picture gallery.
When in Tel Aviv, Zait browses through art books and dwells on various reproductions that capture her eye. From each of these images Zait then chooses a particular detail, which she then reproduces with watercolors and by sketching on paper. For example, a donkey that appears in the background of a Bellini painting (1480); a figure from a Bruegel painting (1568); or a crown from an Indian manuscript (1583). The tiny painting, the size of a post-it (8x8 cm), are then scanned and enlarged before she prints them on photographic paper. During the multiphase process she is at the same time distanced from the image and drawn to it. This represents the way in which photography reacts to painting, and visa versa, and exemplifies how representation precedes reality.
Born in Israel, 1967; lives and works in Tel Aviv