Text of Terry van Druten
Text of Olivier Beer

Ofer JOSEF was born in 1965 in Tel Aviv, Israel.

In France, at seventeen, he became the youngest student to join the Paris School of Fine Arts. He then lived for a dozen years in the Amazon, including three years on the banks of the Rio Negro, a little isolated from men and a little closer to the animals that he is most fond of.
Since then, he has continued to create his visions and bring them to life on paper.

Ofer JOSEF dreams continually; he nourishes the tip of his pen thanks to an overflowing imagination where he encounters a thousand creatures that he presents to us in the form of the creation of surprising and darkly luminous images. In the very nuanced and contrasting basements of the artist, our mind, curious and attentive, gets lost in the twists and turns of fear and nightmare. We do not emerge unscathed from a short visit to his world: it plunges us into forgotten reflections, postponed or voluntarily put aside. However, in this universe where Baudelaire rubs shoulders with Goya, Redon, Kollwitz and even Rops, there remains a hint of clarity. In the use of its light tones, it is up to us to find it, a little light of hope on a blackboard.



Violence and vanity: the black romanticism of Ofer Josef

Terry van Druten, Curator of the Art Collection, Teyler Museum, Haarlem, Netherlands

A huge whale rests on a large banquet table. While a jet of water still springs from its vent, the ribcage of the animal has already been dismembered by numerous small figures. They climb on the remains of the beast like the Lilliputians on the shackled body of Gulliver. Their small size contrasts even more intensely as the knife and fork are larger than life, stuck at the back of the whale and caught between the claws of two ample vultures.


You contain the night fiercely

Extinguish any incomplete feeling

And supplements the light by excess

Pure failure of overly hasty shadows.