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The Chakras of Judaism
Dana Guterzon of Yediot Hasharon, March 10, 2009

Glen Shear – “Israel Caffeinated”, “Al Haagam” Gallery, Park Ra’anana

Despite his past as an art student, Glen Shear, today a Ra’anana resident, was an investment banker in one of the largest banks in Canada. Nine years ago he moved to Israel and continued working in finance. As the economic world collapsed into crisis, he decided to retire from this business and devote himself to painting and helping the community.

Shear decided to present his first art show, at “Al Haagam” gallery in Ra’anana, as part of his contributing to “Table to Table”‘, an organization that collects surplus food from banquet halls, from the army, etc, and transfers it to charity associations all over Israel.

In the paintings exhibited in the show, created over the last 2 months, there is an untainted quality, naiveté and nuances of pop-art. In rich, bold, acrylic paints, Shear builds up his works as puzzles, divided by black contour lines, similar to stained glass. He deals with secular subjects on the one hand, and Jewish and Zionist symbols on the other, Eastern doctrines and universal signs, like the Shofar, Scales of Justice, Star of David and more. The paintings also include hands in the position of Birkat Cohanim, madras practiced in Yoga, and the human body with its seven chakras. All works also involve numbers that allude to certain events related to the pictures.

A large number of paintings recall symbols of coffee shops. Shear, who grew up in Canada, was exposed to the Israeli custom of socializing in cafes and was impressed by the length of time businessmen, friends and whole families spent there (as opposed to the take-away coffee culture in America). In the series of paintings which he titled: “Israel Caffeinated”, Shear brings into his drawings logos of coffee shop chains and adds to them his own unique compositions.

The images in the paintings are not always evident. Sometimes they are hidden and need to be discovered, as the mixing and hiding of images are metaphors for the complexity of life, particularly here in Israel.

Coffee & Friends painting by Glen Shear featured with a newspaper article reviewing Glen Shear's Solo Art Exhibition

The mixing and hiding of images are metaphors for the complexity of life.

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