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In Shai Azoulay’s paintings, there are often scenes set in a desert landscape. This recurring desert landscapes may be associated to his personal biography, growing up in Arad, a city located in the southern Judean Desert. However, in Azoulay’s painting the desert does not appear on its own, but functions as the background for human activity, a set environment for private or collective ceremonies. These ceremonial rituals have a slightly surreal logic that mixes the sacred with the profane. Azoulay’s painting bare a dream-like quality, they function as revelation visions in which the pathos is restrained with self humor and insights about human nature and conduct.
– Tal Yahas