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ARTisSpectrum | Volume 29 | artisspectrum.com
Zivi Aviraz
A
s she creates her expressively tactile and vivid
explorations in paint,
Zivi Aviraz
brings a joyous
sense of freedomand confidence to her works through
the strength of her marks and her bold hues. The
artist’s passion is apparent in the care and dedication
shown in her paintings, as she devotes herself fully to
each piece, developing every stroke and motion with
practiced skill and patient attention.
A sweeping vertical motion runs throughout much
of Aviraz’s art, binding her rough and textural
brushstrokes together as they surge upwards across
her surfaces. Amidst the broad, choppy marks, one
discovers bright bursts contrasting like jewels against
the pigments. Now and then figural forms emerge
fromwithin the abstraction of this lively dance of color,
hinting at narratives and emotional connections. 
Aviraz creates her works in a blend of acrylic paints, collage, and mixed media on canvas, occasionally presenting her
paintings grouped as triptychs. Born and raised in Israel, Aviraz came to the United States as an emissary to the Jewish
Community Center and eventually settled permanently in Pittsburgh. Now an award-winning artist, she is an active member
of the Pittsburgh Society of Artists and of the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh exhibiting in group and solo shows both
regionally and online.
The Band Mixed Media on Canvas 30” x 48”
T
he natural world conjured up in
Dušan Swalens
ethereal “macrophotography” has a powerful quality
of mystery that both intrigues and excites. Using the
traditional form of the botanical study, Swalens plays
with aperture, extreme close-up, and diffused light to
suggest an entire universe within the petals of a single
flower. Rich color and dynamic movement enhance
each photograph’s narrative, while questioning the line
between representational and abstract imagery.
Swalens draws out one tiny part of the whole to focus
on – a lone bud, or perhaps just a pistil and stamen –and
blurs the rest in a cloud of soothing pastels, suggesting
infinite space to be traversed. Another technique has
the artist contrasting a brightly-lit leaf against a black
background, so that the plant appears both more alive
and tangible by contrast, yet also to be glowing. When
cropped and lit so dramatically, the common flower
becomes something completely unfamiliar. Its presence expands, its personality outgrows itself, and what is usually taken
for a symbol of fragility and fleetingness transforms into something strong.
Swalens was born in the Czech Republic and has lived for several years in Brussels, Belgium. He considers his work a
conversation-starter on “human relations and man’s attitude toward nature and the universe.”
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Inkjet Print on Hahnemühle FineArt Photo Rag Ultra Smooth 20” x 28”
Dušan Swalens
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