Nechama Rivlin meets with Israeli artists working in France

'You are Israeli artists but you are also citizens of the world’s capital city of art.'

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Nechama Rivlin with artists in Paris
Nechama Rivlin with artists in Paris
Tomer Reichman (courtesy)

A daring poet, an artist who works with patisserie and shoes, a celebrated violinist, a video artist, a pianist, a pastry chef, painters, sculptors and many other Israeli artists who have been working in France in recent years today, Wednesday, met First Lady Nechama Rivlin in Paris as part of the president’s official visit to France. During the meeting, the president came to hear from the artists for a short while between his meetings, and thanked them for their creativity and the thought they provoke in us all. “Many of our artist friends have spent time in Paris and I know how inspiring and enriching it is, but I also want to remind you all that we miss you and are waiting for your art and your creativity back home in Israel,” said the president.

“I am so happy to meet you. This room is bursting with talent, from so many different fields,” said Nechama. “There is something so moving about the range you represent – from young to old, from the classic genres to those who know how to bring shoes and pastries together.”

“I believe that art has no language, that it speaks all languages and yet it is unique in the way that it expresses the personal, social and national experiences of the artist,” said Nechama. “From that point of view, you are Israeli artists but you are also citizens of the world’s capital city of art.”

“I think there has been a great leap forward in Israel in recent years in the fields of culture, art and food. Some of you are responsible for that advance, and some of you are representative of it. It is important that we take good care of our free expression,” said Nechama, and asked each of the artists present to share what had brought them here and how it is to live and work in France, particularly in Paris.

“Always remember that we at home look at you with great pride. And if you want to come back, we are waiting for you with open arms and with love,” said Nechama at the end of the meeting, thanking the participants for a fascinating conversation.

The artists came from a wide range of fields, and included the violinist Ivry Gitlis, aged 96, one of the greatest violinists of our times and 91-year old sculptor Shelomo Selinger, a Holocaust survivor who immigrated in 1946 on the Tel Hai immigrant boat, went to Paris in 1956 to study art and has remained there ever since. Selinger created the national monument for French deportees at the Drancy concentration camp. Other participants included the singer Roni Alter; photographer and video artist Yosef-Joseph Dadon; poet Noam Partom and her partner the painter Elad Rosen; journalist, television host, editor and writer Dov Alfon who published his book ‘A Long Night in Paris’ in 2016; artist and designer Tzuri Gueta who has worked with the biggest fashion houses including Chanel, Christian Lacroix, Jean-Paul Gaultier and Yohji Yamamoto; jazz pianist Yaron Herman; pianist and musicologist Prof Itamar Golan; photographer Asaf Sasson whose works have been exhibited at the Pompidou Center, and the Museum of Cotemporary Art in Rome amongst others; Ido Shaked, who established Théâtre Majâz with a Lebanese-French director and whose members include actors from Iran, Morocco, Spain, France, the Palestinian Authority and others; chef Dan Yosha from ‘Balagan’ restaurant in Paris, part of the Machneyuda group; patissier and designer Tal Spiegel who posts a picture every day on his Instagram page 'Desserted in Paris' that combines his love for shoes and for French desserts; pastry chef Sharon Heinrich Hadari who researches the field of patisserie and chocolate; actor and screenwriter Eli Ben-David, creator, writer and editor of the Israeli satire programs ‘Buba shel Layla’ and ‘Buba shel Medina’; choreographer Adi Butrous and others.