A Trio on a Quest for Happiness
Eran Shakine: A Muslim, a Christian and a Jew 28 October 2016 to 5 March 2017
Press Release, 27 October 2016
Starting on Friday, 28 October, the Jewish Museum Berlin will be presenting the Israeli artist Eran Shakine’s first solo show in Germany. The exhibition A Muslim, a Christian, and a Jew, in the Eric F. Ross Gallery, will be displaying roughly 40 large-format drawings on paper and canvas and three metal sculptures.
In his current series A Muslim, a Christian, and a Jew, Eran Shakine humorously critiques the question of the commonalities and differences between three major world religions: Islam, Christianity, and Judaism.
A Trio on a Quest for Happiness
The exhibition’s title alludes to the opening line of a stereotype-driven joke. In sketch-like drawings in oil pastel, a Muslim, a Christian, and a Jew—visually indistinguishable—explore life. On a quest for their religions' shared origins, they find themselves in situations both routine and absurd and encounter such figures as Moses, Buddha, and Nelson Mandela.
"I don’t laugh at religion. I laugh at human behavior," says Eran Shakine, clarifying his approach, which employs humor in grappling with religious contexts.
The loose lines of the oil pastels are misleading: what appear to be visual stories drawn in passing take commonplace prejudices to their absurd limits with a humorous undertone. In fact, interfaith dialogue emerges as his earnest subject.
"If you take away all the things we use to set ourselves apart from each other, we all have the same basic need," says Shakine of his series. Happiness.
Art as a Reflection of Culture and Society
Eran Shakine's work ranges from drawings and paintings to sculptures and public art. Shakine himself stresses how his practice has been influenced by street art, which he paid close attention to when he was living in New York in the 1980s. He always sees his art as a reflection of culture and society. In his works, which are often tongue-in-cheek, he addresses topics such as the mechanisms of the art business, the connection between self-image and public image, and the relationships between religions. His latest series A Muslim, a Christian, and a Jew has also been informed by his personal experience of life in Israel.
"To live in the Middle East is to live in the eye of a storm. It’s like trying to lead a normal life in a volcanic crater."
Eran Shakine was born in Israel in 1962 to a French father and a Hungarian mother. Both his parents had come to Israel after surviving the Holocaust. After spending a number of years in Paris, London and New York, he now lives and works in Tel Aviv.
His work has been exhibited at solo shows in New York, London, Paris, Brussels, Toronto, and Tel Aviv. It can be found in the holdings of the British Museum, the Suermondt-Ludwig-Museum in Aachen, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, the Israel Museum, and many private collections.
|Exhibition dates||28 October 2016 to 5 March 2017|
|Location||Eric F. Ross Gallery, Libeskind Building, ground flour|
|Hours||Tues–Sun: 10am–8pm; Mon: 10am–10pm|
|Admission||With museum ticket (8 euros, 3 euros discounted)|
As an accompanying event, the artist will be giving an Artist Talk with Live Painting at the Jewish Museum Berlin on 7 February 2017.
The art book Eran Shakine: A Muslim, a Christian and a Jew Knocking on Heaven’s Door, edited by Jürgen B. Tesch, has been released by Hirmer Verlag (96 pages, German/English, retail price: 9.90 euros).