MembersGideon Ofrat

This interview serves as an interlude to my series on Christian motifs in Israeli art.

By Tsvi Sadan |
Photo: Nati Shohat / Flash90
Photo: Photo: Nati Shohat / Flash90

Gideon Ofrat is the author of some 60 books on Israeli art, curator of dozens of exhibitions, professor of art and founder of the Institute for Israeli Art at the Academic College of Tel-Aviv. In other words, he’s got the credentials to speak of Israeli art in general, and, since he’s probably the first Israeli-born scholar to address the use of Christian motifs in local art, he’s got a unique perspective on that, as well.

Israel Today: You are among the very few who try to understand Christian motifs in Israeli art. Why the interest? Ofrat: No art scholar who visits museums and reads art history books can escape the centrality of Christianity in Western art. My interest in this topic was also influenced by Pinchas Sadeh’s Life as a Parable, a book that left a great impression on my generation. Because of this book, I started reading the New Testament. Remember that I belong to the generation that, in the wake of the Yom Kippur War in 1973, experienced the collapse of the Sabra myth [the new...

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