Stamford—Dorit Gur has been interested in art since she was a young child. Through her art, she explores Judaism, with its multifaceted mystical meanings and, in so doing, examines her own sense of being. Today she continues to paint and showcase such mystical visions in her own art gallery in Jaffa, Israel, and hopes to share her artistic energy and explorations with the rest of the world.
Gur was first exposed to great artists such as Picasso, Da Vinci, Chagall and others when she was just 8 years old. Since that time, she has avidly pursued art as a career, although not via a formal art-school education. She maintains that this allowed her to explore art on more of her own terms, and to broaden her range of artistic experiences. “I didn’t want to limit myself and my creativity. The lack of formal studies made my curiosity even bigger,” she said.
While she is influenced by both the Classical and the Modern styles of art, Gur said that her main influences are actually “not [from] artists so much as much as from spirit, writings from the Bible, personal journeys of my imagination, and my strong connection to Creation.” This drive towards the spiritual side of Judaism and the Biblical side of art has influenced her work and she deeply believes that she does not “draw inspiration, but [draws] energy.”
Over time, Gur’s desire to create art inspired by Judaism has only grown. Her artistic interests and skills have developed from there as a result. “Until the year 2003, I painted only figures of women. While meditating, I got a vision of a picture with Biblical writings and I decided to create my vision. That’s how the first Judaic painting was created and it concerned the rainbow, which symbolized the alliance between God and Noah,” said Gur.
Gur is also inspired by the story of Creation and its sources. She speaks energetically about one painting of hers in particular, entitled, Bereshit Spiral. How does she set the mood and approach the conception of such paintings? Regarding this painting for example, she said, “I write the whole episode of Genesis (Bereshit) in freehand writing from the outside—in. I never plan or measure before I do it…[This] symbolizes my yearning for the initial harmony that existed in the beginning. It is also in a shape of a ball that reflects earth going back in time.”
Gur typically does her best work at night. She works from visions that she has had as a starting point, but while in the middle of creating a new painting, she never knows how it will look in the end. For Gur, this is part of the innate creative process that makes her artwork unique and hers alone, and she draws as much inspiration from the process as from the outcome.
Gur uses many mediums to create her artwork and starts off by mixing all of the materials together until she “gets the texture that [she wants] for the painting.” The mediums that she uses to create her paintings are acquired from all over the world. Of such artistic mediums, she said, “The canvas is from Italy, the acrylic paints are from Israel, some mediums are from Holland and some are from Germany.”
Reaching others through her art is as important to Gur as is her art process. She carries on this viewpoint by exposing others to art via her own art gallery. Located in the heart of the flea market in Old Jaffa, Israel, she sends her paintings to Safed, Jerusalem and showcases her art at other occasional exhibitions, as well. Her work is always showcased in her gallery, but she also hosts other artists from time to time. Beyond her paintings, she also produces several other products such as Biblical writings on Jerusalem stones and Abundance Keys. She hopes to create and sell jewelry in her art gallery very soon, as well.
In addition to her art, Gur adores music and finds it very inspiring. She is currently in the middle of writing her first book, and has said that, “it concerns a spiritual journey in the Sahara Desert.” Still, while Gur does find many other pursuits to be inspiring, it is her art that remains her first love and she is eager to exhibit it in as many places as she can. Gur sells her artwork to many people from abroad. This past month, she also had an exhibit in the US for the first time. This is, she said, “important for me to spread my art because I believe in it, in its content and what it reflects to people. When customers tell me they feel the energy coming out of the paintings, I know that I have succeeded in conveying the message. I feel that is my calling in this life and know that I’m meant to spread it. That is why the exhibition is called ‘Blessings to The World.’”
Gur’s paintings are being showcased at the Stamford JCC, located at 1033 Newfield Ave. until May 30. You can find out more about her work at http://www.doritgur.com/.
by Bracha K. Sharp