Design

Two Worlds Merging: Art & Design Go Hand in Hand

by Yuval Saar | 03.01.16
It all began in africa by Arik Ben Simhon for Gal gaon gallery, 2015. All photos by Gidon Levin

It all began in africa by Arik Ben Simhon for Gal gaon gallery, 2015. All photos by Gidon Levin

After seven years of extensive creation under the pseudonym Talents, Telavivian architect Gal Gaon has finally opened a new gallery that carries his own name.  

The result is a new and exquisite space that stands out in both the urban Art scene and the international one. Located right across the street from Tel Aviv’s trendy and luxurious boutique hotel, The Norman, the gallery’s trademark is its combination of Art and Design. Works of contemporary art made by local artists are showcased alongside items by renowned designers such as Ilan Pivko, Arik Ben Simhon and Ilan Garibi.

Strata - blue stone - by Ilan Pivko for Gal Gaon Gallery, 2015

Strata – blue stone – by Ilan Pivko for Gal Gaon Gallery, 2015

Talents was thought up and constructed throughout the seven years of its activity as a company that works on the development of items and collections of Design-Art with different artists and designers, and this continues to be its essence,” Gaon explains.

“The new gallery serves as medium where I can present another layer of my work. I gave it my own name because the focus here is not on the development process but rather on the presentation of Design-Art collections and items. The majority of these creations are developed in Talents, and some of them are then displayed in the gallery – for different lengths of time.”

According to Gaon, the gallery is a commercial gallery for all intents and purposes, and as such it aspires to bring its customers (be they architects, Art collectors or entrepreneurs) – a comprehensive perception of Design and contemporary Art. “The gallery bases itself on the principle of dialogues: between myself and curators who I invite to the gallery; between collectors and architects who discuss the development of collections or the addition of unique items to projects; and at the heart of it all – a dialogue with artists who develop new items for the Talents collection and for the gallery. The main emphasis here is placed on a whole and integrated world that brings together Design and Art. It’s been my agenda for a long time, and this gallery enables me to present this vision: a full environment that can trigger a fascinating correspondence between the Art items and the Design-Art items.“

Folded masters - a Gesture to Caravaggio - Metal Origami collection by Ilan Garibi for Gal gaon gallery, 2015

Folded masters – a Gesture to Caravaggio – Metal Origami collection by Ilan Garibi for Gal gaon gallery, 2015

How much of an audience does a gallery like your own might have in Israel? When one steps into the gallery, one is immediately overwhelmed by the sense that one has left the borders of Israel and stepped into a gallery in Milan, Paris or London.

“Our entire activity is in a field that was almost empty in Israel, and therefore a large part of our efforts are turned to the international market. On the other hand, there’s an amazing Israeli audience (that has amassed in recent years) who loves our gallery, purchases items, collects them, knows and devoutly follows the progress and the works of the artists we work with. There are collectors, architects, entrepreneurs but also people who wander into the gallery and just want to take these creations back home with them.

“This audience has a lot of strength and love and every time we get to meet and host a new person in our gallery and introduce them to our unique way, we’re just really thrilled.”

Diamonds Metal Origami collection by Ilan Garibi & Hunter Trophy by Joy Van Erven for Gal gaon gallery, 2015

Diamonds Metal Origami collection by Ilan Garibi & Hunter Trophy by Joy Van Erven for Gal gaon gallery, 2015

There’s an extraordinary connection here between Art and Design that doesn’t exist in many places, neither in Israel nor in the international community.

“I’m glad to hear that you recognize this connection, and I get the same kind of strong reaction from most of our visitors who walk into the gallery and see this connection as some sort of revelation, a novelty.

“It’s important to me to stress that this is the direction that contemporary Art is heading in, and it’s turning more and more of its resources and energy to the young field of Design-Art. When one of the world’s flagship commercial galleries- the Gagosian Gallery- starts to showcase Design-Art items for sale, it becomes clear that this shift is very real.

“My personal angle as an architect and designer, which I share with Hilla Nevo (the gallery’s manager), is that items should be placed together, side by side, in a manner that would allow them to interact emotionally with the Art and decor at home or in the office environment. The two worlds have to come together in one space.

“We get wonderful reactions from people who say that it feels so right, how everything is made with attention to the smallest details. But the biggest compliment we ever got was from people who said that they just wanted to move into the gallery as it is; that there are intimate and exact details that they connect to on an emotional level. As an architect, a designer and an artistic director who is composing a new direction for the gallery I can truly say that there can’t be a bigger compliment than that.”

Gal gaon. All photos by Gidon Levin

Gal Gaon. All photos by Gidon Levin

Translation from Hebrew: Joy Bernard

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