Alejandro Alex Goldberg: Golden Paintings
By: Ron Bartos
A Mystical Happening, 2020, oil on linen, 120 x 200 cm
Two colossi accompany our journey into the depths of Alejandro Alex Goldberg’s art. The colossi are in fact two large scale paintings that he created recently. The first is titled A Mystical Happening and the second Angels. The first painting depicts semi abstract figures that turn out to be two painters (Goldberg’s twin children, who are also artists). The two hold painting brushes, touching-painting a field of color, like a golden river that flows through a bluish-purplish painting. This is a “mystical happening.” The painting Angels also features two painters (copying famous self-portraits) in a studio. Each painter dons a pair of angel wings, which Goldberg delineates with a line of white paint, and with that, transforms the figures of painters into “angels.” Between these two colossi, between the first and the second mystical happening, and between the painters and angels, we can trace Goldberg’s position, which we could encapsulate as his credo: “I believe in painting.” And to that we could also add: The painter is an angel, painting is a craft, and their marriage is mystical.
“Mexico-born and Jerusalem-based Goldberg was trained in the tradition of American-Israeli figurative painting. After studying at the University of Texas and the Academy of Arts in Sofia, Bulgaria, he studied with the renowned American painter Lennart Anderson, and with Israel Hershberg at the Jerusalem Studio School. ”
Mexico-born and Jerusalem-based Goldberg was trained in the tradition of American-Israeli figurative painting. After studying at the University of Texas and the Academy of Arts in Sofia, Bulgaria, he studied with the renowned American painter Lennart Anderson, and with Israel Hershberg at the Jerusalem Studio School. Hershberg, who was Anderson’s student and later founded his own school in Jerusalem, led and established the figurative-realist school in Israeli painting since the early 1990s, from its marginal status in the local art scene to its acceptance into the mainstream. This school is based on the focused observation and inquisitive look at the object of the painting, and one can also add to its characteristics the sensitivity to color, its shades, and the surface of the canvas, and the attitude to the tradition of painting and its conventions. However, Goldberg did not discriminate – he learned from all his teachers, experimented with different methods, and formulated the values of his art. In the process, he relinquished traditional finishing for vigorous, immediate, and spontaneous expression; relinquished the faithfulness to the observation of reality for giving free rein to the imagination and adopting humor and even a quasi-childish attitude; relinquished the uniformity of style for the multiplicity of languages in his body of work and at times even in a single painting; and also, relinquished the idea of objective perception for capturing a subjective experience and expressing it in painting.
And a final note: Turn your attention to the yellow color in Alejandro Alex Goldberg’s paintings, notice its presence as a color or as a hue in other colors. Goldberg’s yellow is golden, and its role in the painting, he says, is to shine, to shed light, and to imbue a spiritual dimension. Yellow is Goldberg’s gold, it is the “gold” that Goldberg leaves of himself in each one of his paintings.
Angels, 2020, oil on linen, 120 x 200 cm