‘At the heart of creation, is celebration’ – this adage seems to have been made for Ellen Davidzon. As a painter she celebrates life, with paintings that are so bursting with joy for life or with such a tender, deeply human interest that they almost always touch you.
About Ellen Davidzon
Painter Ellen Davidzon (Amsterdam, 1971), with her loose touch and light-colored palette, creates figurative, impressionistic city and beach scenes, as well as portraits. By focusing on beauty and playing with light, Davidzon makes the world look a little softer. Davidzon has taken a more abstract and personal direction with her most recent series ‘Boundaries’. Her distinctive signature has remained. Her subjects are the different emotions and themes from life, depicted in metaphors, color and atmosphere. Davidzon’s sources of inspiration are very diverse; photos, art, music, social media and experiences, among other things, are filtered by Davidzon and converted into an image on canvas. The self-taught Davidzon has now been painting for 20 years. After an orientation course in art, Davidzon opted for a social psychology course at the University of Amsterdam. The starting point of social psychology – how the individual relates to his social environment – is reflected in the emotions and stories in Davidzon’s work. “The energy that the work radiates touches and connects: that is my goal,” says Davidzon.
City and beach
Anyone who has ever spent a day on the beach, in The Hamptons, the south of France or along the North Sea coast, will recognize themselves in the work of Ellen Davidzon. With impressionistic, loose touches and subtle colors she paints children playing in the surf, a lonely fisherman in the sand, colorful kites dancing against a bright blue sky. Her work is deeply rooted in European culture, both in style and subject matter. ‘I love Scandinavian beaches, or those of the Wadden Sea: the thin, hazy light. But also the Amsterdam canals, where the sunlight is filtered through the green leaves of the trees and reflected silvery on the water; the feeling of happiness in spring, that first moment when you can ride your bike with bare legs again. It’s about that spiritual element that unites people. That’s what I’m looking for and what I’m trying to portray. ‘ The atmosphere in these paintings is elegant and light, the colors are cheerful and the brushstrokes loose. Here, Ellen Davidzon creates the world she wants to see: a mother lifting her child, teenagers playing on their iPhones. It evokes both the joy of recognition and a heightened reality. ‘In these works I paint what I feel good about,’ says Ellen. ‘I leave out what I don’t like – I want to see the beauty in the now.’
With her new series ‘Boundaries’, Ellen Davidzon takes the next step – by pushing boundaries inward. If earthly reality rules its beach and cityscapes, then here we find insights into the human psyche. ‘Boundaries is about the part of life that I know is also there – life is full of contrasts. How do you push your boundaries and embrace these things without losing yourself? The horizontal bars in these paintings are a symbol of these boundaries and at the same time connect all the works together, the way storylines are interwoven in dreams. ‘ Each work shows the theme ‘Contrast’ and the way to deal with it, creating a layer of meaning. ‘Infinity’ shows a drawing of a loving couple attached to a wall, next to the number 8, a symbol of infinity. The wall is also covered with a flowering branch, which will wither in time. In ‘Promised Land’ two figures wash ashore on a golden beach, with pink-red mountains in the background – but is it such a heavenly land? “My inspiration for Boundaries is quite diverse,” she confirms. ‘Photos, colour, art, music, religion. I filter everything and translate it onto canvas. ‘The work of photographer Hendrik Kerstens appears, but artists such as Henri Matisse, Hélène Schjerfbck and Geer van Velde also inspire her. The circle seems complete with ‘Beach’, an empty beach view where both the white foam of the surf and the dark blue sea appear like a beam of light. No children playing here, but small figures far away, contemplating. Life as it is, filtered through the eyes and brushes of painter Ellen Davidzon.
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