Jaffa Grapefruits, 2020
Oil on canvas
About the Artist
Katia Lifshin (b.1993, Israel) is a Ukraine-born Israeli artist who primarily focuses on themes such as family bonds, childhood memories, identity and friendship through her practice. She uses old monochromatic photographs to guide and inspire her work. Utilizing the photographs as a reference, she recasts the vintage scenes with new meaning, driven by her own personal narrative. Having now returned to Israel in 2018, she lives and works in Tel-Aviv.
About the Artwork
Jaffa Grapefruits is a painting I created at the end of 2020. I found the reference photograph for the painting in a vintage store here in Israel back in 2019. In the scene are arab and jewish looking individuals, packing grapefruits in boxes. I am pretty sure that the photo dates before 1948, before the establishment of the State of Israel. The painting reflects on the rich past of this land and the people who called it their home. I don’t go into politics at all. I just want to show the past as it was in this photograph and celebrate the people in it. When planning the painting, I collected more reference materials, did the sketch on a large canvas. Then, I got stuck. I left the bare canvas for almost 6 months before returning to it. It was only when I returned to it I got to explore and develop my color palette. I was incorporating greens and blues more and more in my works. I looked at the canvas, and decided that it had to be blue. I am glad I left it untouched for so long, until I was finally ready for it.