Iftah Geva

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E-mail: iftah@ggi.co.il

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Iftah Geva (born 1977) lives in Kibbutz Reshafim, Israel. Geva is a sculptor, specializing in a unique interpretation of kinetic art. His works, all made of carbon fibre, appear to float and defy gravity.

Geva's personal story is no less extraordinary. An autodidactic artist who did not finish high school, he transformed himself from nature-loving boy working at the Kibbutz's fish farm into an international artist who creates large scale sculptures at a military aircraft factory, whose works are shown around the world.

Geva draws inspiration from many aspects of his life. In the past decade, he has worked mainly with carbon fibre, the same material being used in the aeronautics and space industries. With it he creates art works that combine high-tech and exquisite craft, resulting in organic forms that represent a strong physicality and blatant spirituality. Their smooth surfaces and playful movements belie the artist’s sophisticated application of physics and advanced engineering calculations.

Geva’s works can be found in the permanent collection of the Museum of Art and Design in New York City, and have been featured in exhibitions at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and at The Centre for Art in Wood, Philadelphia.

 Nature and Art can be competing for ways of describing and responding to the world.  Each in its own unique methods, practices, techniques, traditions, and limitations attempt to assist us in understanding how nature works.  From cells to galaxies, from materials to forces, from structures to life, science and art speculate, observe, condense and present new meanings of nature, including human nature.

The results of both scientific and artistic inquiries are always stunning, even when we do not notice them.  Yet, rarely does art turn its gaze into the basic concepts of science - weight, balance, material, mass, movement, speed, energy, relationship, time, distance, density, structure, and, obviously, their opposites.

This is precisely the terminology that inspires the unique art works of the Israeli inventor-artist, Iftah Geva.  A self-taught artist, inventor, and entrepreneur, Geva (born 1977) for the past two decades has worked in multiple high-tech innovation and production venues throughout Israel: from a classified unmanned aerial vehicle factory, to facilities for engineering projects, from medical technologies companies, to innovation, design and production of installations for science and technology museums.  As Geva says, "I have always been interested in nature and in my experience of nature and laws of nature.  In my art works I have examined and expressed the themes of strength versus flexibility, stability versus freedom of movement, walking on edge versus inner balance.  Those same issues have emerged from moments of instability and transience in my life; moments that shook me to the core and rendered me helpless, on the brink of an emotional breakdown.  In those moments of darkness, when I felt powerless, the driving force behind my courage to go forward - was my inner strength and the desire to create".

Geva's sculptures are made of carbon fibre.  These are the fibres (nets) made of moistly carbon atoms.  This complicated process allows for flat or flexible surfaces to be "woven" into different and very intricate and delicate shapes and forms.  The carbon particles of fibres are tiny and extra light, which allows manipulation with weight, density, size and shape to influence the balance, the composition and the structure.

The result is awesome.  A large sculpture, that stands at an impossible angle… Parts, that seem to fall, yet stand firm… Large volumes, that stretch into extreme thinness are testing the edges of materiality…

The absolute wonder is that all this technological and scientific ingenuity is mesmerizingly beautiful.  We struggle to grasp the phenomenal gap between what we see, its sleek wholeness, and our idea of the potential for catastrophe, failure, destruction.  This everlasting gap, this liminal space, between being captivated and anticipating the unknown, between surface and volume, stillness and movement, nature and technology, and first and foremost, between science and art, creates the invisible pulsating at the heart of Geva's art.

 

Gilad Melzer

Curator and past director of Yaakov Agam Museum