Israeli artist David Gerstein, who is in India for his art show, Poetic Mirror, is in awe of the country and hopes to enrich his work through this escapade.
The artist’s work is deeply admired in India and sold like hot cakes at the recently-held India Art Fair. "It makes me happy seeing my work getting accepted in countries that I’ve never been to. My art is about communication and it is doing just that," says Gerstein, who is a fan of India’s late veteran actor, Raj Kapoor.
Not just that, he says that it is through the Indian films that he knows the country well enough. Talking about Bollywood, the artist was quick to hum a few lines from an old song, Ichak dana, bichak dana. "I’ve heard good things about The Lunchbox (a film released in 2013) and will watch it soon. Also, a lot of Israeli kids come to India and they bring back stories. So, we hear about India quite often," adds Gerstein, who is also fond of spicy Indian food.
Does he like the work of any Indian artist? "I like Subodh Gupta a lot. His installations are very ­inspiring — ­especially with steel," says Gerstein, praising the talent in India.
Coming back to his work, Alka Pande is curating Gerstein’s collection that’s being showcased here. His works are mostly pop art, and the artist calls it ‘personal pop art with colours galore’.
"I try to put optimism in my art through colours. The art done in Israel is a bit political and I try to run away from it. I do art to celebrate life, that’s a part of my nature, I guess," he explains.
Although Gerstein’s art doesn’t touch the complicated ­politics of Israel-Palestine, he does have a political standing. A leftist, he believes that the conflict is endless. "Israel should be divided in two states. We’re like a couple who can’t live together. This piece of land belongs to the two nations. We have to split," he concludes.