Bezalel-Levy is the combined signature of Chaim Bezalel and Yonnah Ben Levy, a husband and wife collaboration. We have been collaborating since 1990 on mixed media paintings combining photography and oils, oil pastels, or acrylics on rice paper, canvas, or linen. In 2002 we opened Stanwood House Gallery & Art Center, in Stanwood, Washington in a restored, hundred year old landmark building to which we added a modern, architecturally designed ceramics studio.
Painting is always a relationship between the painter and the subject and the materials. Our technique also includes the relationship between ourselves. The photographer submits to having his composition painted over, sometimes obscured, and the painter is content to paint her partner’s image, although she gets to select which she wants to paint. In many of the paintings the underlying photograph shows through in some areas, or the frame of the photograph is maintained. When we began, we put aside all of our individual artistic pursuits in order to create this collaboration. Over the 30 years of our marriage and collaboration, we have returned to our own individual work, but our collaboration has continued. One feeds the other.
Both of us have an abiding interest in history, personal, regional, national, and inter-cultural. We live on two sides of the world. Our home and studio in Ashkelon, Israel is a short walk from the Mediterranean Sea and the remains of many conquests and empires surround us. This year we exhibited some of our work at the Cambridge Museum of Classical Archaeology. Our landscapes from America are in many public collections. The painting Western Edge of the Continental United States is from the Pacific Scrolls section of our American Scrolls project. The Pacific Rim encompasses our area of the Northwest as well as Papua, New Guinea.