Yisrael K. Feldsott on the river in all of us, spiritual medicine and living with Hell’s Angels.
Yisrael K. Feldsott has been painting and making art for almost five decades. In his early twenties, he exhibited his work at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, just part of of his notable, mythological journey. When Peter Selz, the well-known art historian and former curator of SFMOMA, viewed Feldsott’s work for the first time, he said the work simply stunned him with “its vitality, the spontaneous sense of ordered chaos, and the artistic quality.” He contacted Robert C. Morgan, an esteemed art critic and art historian, to view Feldsott’s work and write the introduction for the exhibit Cries, Chants, Shouts & Whispers: Songs of the Forgotten. Morgan interviewed Feldsott again recently, as preparations were underway for a second opening of his show in New York City.
–Bonnie Lou Feld
Robert C. Morgan We have talked about conflict and bloodshed several times during our conversations, and as you’ve said, there has always been a war during your lifetime somewhere. What kind of appeal are you trying to make to the audience in your paintings that deals with war subjects, or subjects of people being humiliated, tortured, and so forth?
Yisrael K. Feldsott It is interesting that you ask that, because somebody at my last art opening asked if I was a political artist, and the question stopped me for a moment. I really paused and thought about it. My response is that I don’t feel that I’m a political artist. I sense that I’m painting from some mysterious level of my own humanity and the outrage that I feel in relationship to violence, disagreement, or conflicts in the world is juxtaposed with the quality of cruelty, vengeance, and the need to destroy another people, another tradition, and another culture. These are really the issues that have galvanized me.