MembersContemporary Israeli Art: Zoya Cherkassky

The Israel Museum is currently exhibiting the work of artist Zoya Cherkassky under the title “Pravda” (truth).

By Tsvi Sadan |
Photo: Zoya Cherkassky

It’s a clever title alluding to the official newspaper of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, for which truth was rather fluid, and provides the artist with a much-needed means of bypassing the criticism that her provocative paintings almost demand.

In cartoonish-like realism, Cherkassky paints the experiences of the great wave of Russian immigrants of the 1990s. Born in 1976 in Kiev, her family came to Israel in 1991. Cherkassky is one of a million others from the former Soviet Union, many of whom are not considered Jewish according to Halacha. Cherkassky is among them, and has proudly married an illegal Nigerian immigrant, which makes her as provocative as her paintings. Relatively young as she is, Cherkassky has already had her paintings exhibited at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, and in Berlin, Moscow and other places.

Cherkassky’s background, which the Israel Museum didn’t find the need to disclose, is all the more interesting considering her political views. “In my view, communism alone can be an alternative to the extreme right and fascism,” she told the daily Ha’artez. As for...

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