Artisans of the World: Iris Eshet Cohen

Shades of Hope and Happiness

Tel Aviv’s Iris Eshet Cohen uses paint, clay, and bronze to capture the joy of motion.

By Grant Balfour

In the galleries of Tel Aviv — and in Paris, New York, Madrid, and Miami — art lovers have been buoyed by the festive colors of Israeli artist Iris Eshet Cohen. A lifelong art lover, she has masteredmany media: In the 1980s, she worked as a makeup artist in the French film and theater industry, then traveled the globe for the Japanese cosmetics company Shiseido before settling down in her home city of Tel Aviv to create paintings, bronze sculptures, and clay pots — anything that expresses her love of motion and color. Eshet Cohen cites influences such as abstract painters Pollock, Kandinsky, and Rothko, as well as multimedia creator Niki Saint Phalle.

On one of her online shops, she lists her favorite materials as sand, shells, cotton, canvas, and sea stones. But some of her most eye-catching works are ceramics — pots that are equal parts functional and decorative, and inspired by the patterns of fish, the shape of pomegranates, the colors of the sea and the creatures that live in it, and the movement of waves on the shore. Her abstract acrylic paintings have the same sense of movement and flow, with a heavy texture formed by…

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