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Ori Druckman AKA Halfway Druck

General Text

Through his unparalleled childhood at the end of the 1990s in Israel, raised by an architect mother and a textile merchant, Ori Druckmann was exposed to patterns, drawing boards, textures, and the list goes on. Inherently, resulting in the amalgamation of interior decor and sturdy structures, all under one roof. Inspired by his surroundings, Druckmann was fascinated by the Dutch Graphic artist M.C. Escher. In Escher’s works, we see ideal uniformed societies, marching around a universe superior to the laws of gravity. All combined with perfect architectural structures, in different perspectives and vanishing points; distorting what the mind is expecting and withholding the much desired relief for the eyes. Embodying this creativity along with his mother’s art books, Druckmann took to drawing and architected his own worlds. 

Arch, mixed media, 122 x 72 cm, 2021
detail of Arch, mixed media, 122 x 72 cm, 2021
Tendencies, ink on paper, 53 x 63.5 cm, 2021
detail of Tendencies, ink on paper, 53 x 63.5 cm, 2021
Am I Breathing OK, embroidery on canvas, 72.5 x 72 x 5 cm, 2022
detail Am I Breathing OK, embroidery on canvas, 72.5 x 72 x 5 cm, 2022

During his teenage years, the streets of Tel Aviv became his home base. Directing his creative hand to graffiti tagging, he began to materialise his own designs and perspectives; already then, shattered street lights, and residential constructions were under constant scrutiny in his works. The crumbling or collapsing is what fascinates him; contrary to one’s expectations of the place one calls home, his default is the dishevel, highlighting the broken, decaying and at times disintegrating structures. Inclined to learn more, he spent two years at Shenkar College of Design; his examination of architecture and art deepened, providing him with the knowledge and skills of combining both sectors. In 2016, Druckmann became an artist assistant to Addam Yekutieli AKA ‘Know Hope’. By taking part in Yekutieli’s artistic process, he shifted his own; probing at lived experiences, emotions, and all the delicacies life entails. Consequently, producing his own distorted, demolished worlds, with ‘perfect’ architectural structures. 

Unlike Escher’s works, Druckmann’s are empty of any living being; perfect, sterilised, disintegrating universes. For him, it is a process of analysing and exposing the cracks, finding the beauty in the tension between the fragility of an emotion, and the strict analytical hand that executes it. Druckmann uses no more than three colours at a time; choosing muted, cool, cringing tones to emphasise the alienation of these beautiful false fronts, directing the viewer's attention to the focal points in his buildings. The recurring subject of the facade is the result of his need to cast off and remove the irrelevant, in order to expose the one brick that maintains it whole. His process begins by hand sketching the blueprint, perfecting it digitally, then subverting it again with his own hand. He creates, reforms, and customises. In recent years he began using embroidery as a medium; soft threadings are wielded into tight strokes, breaking through the surface, forming his motifs in a new juxtaposition, inverting what the mind is expecting and the eyes are perceiving. 

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