Victor Alaluf - The Critique

Berlin based, Israeli artist Victor Alaluf creates an extraordinary range of inspiring contemporary installations, combining sculpting, painting, drawing, video art and other mediums. Death is a central theme in Alaluf’s work and his provocative and intellectually challenging creations mirror the masterpieces of internationally renowned artist Damien Hirst, conveying a personal process of awakening and a stark confrontation between profound and hidden facets of our existence. Alaluf repeatedly uses images of skulls, teeth, bones and organs with eloquent use of symbolism and powerful metaphorical allegories. The spectator is confronted with colourful butterflies juxtaposed with human remains while glass vitrines lure the viewer in for closer inspection. Colossal structural pieces loom over the observer, exceedingly geometric and systematic in style, with which Alaluf conveys the undying cycle of mortality albeit abruptly compressed, beautiful and divine.
 
Alaluf highlights key aspects that are often suppressed, presenting the viewer with an unconventional alternative reality based on an uninhibited acceptance of extreme elements, both spiritual and physical, that are normally considered foreboding or uncomfortable. The observer is faced with an intoxicating combination of converse elements, internally interlocked, but all revolving around the distinctive and integral process of confrontation. This dramatic conflict of spiritual and intellectual emotion interconnects in perfect aesthetic and communicative harmony, with death, disorder and pain, on the one hand; life, peace and grace on the other.
 
Other aspects of Alaluf’s works explore the physical boundaries of the body and its degeneration in a sublime, serene or erotic manner. The wounded, decomposing or collapsing form is an aesthetic constitution of the artist’s internal oeuvre, conveyed in a highly invigorating manner that often absolutely opposes the artwork’s actual message. These intensely evocative installations can thus be described as a fierce and unfathomable contrast between death-expressing contents and the forms through which alone these contents obtain their existence. Moreover, it prompts the spectator to re-examine our dichotomised understanding of these obscure and challenging polarities that together as a whole constitute our humanity.
 
These artworks further raise the question whether the social issues we encounter are mirrored by the delicate construction of our own organic bodies while other projects express an attempt to bring awareness and call for reflection on our current social structure and moral values.
 
Furthermore, when analysing the artworks, it is imperative and highly beneficial for the observer to consider each sculpture separately as an enigmatic icon as well as in conjunction with one another. In fact, irreplaceable beauty is unearthed in this visual aesthetic after considerable thought and personal contemplation. Alaluf communicates with the viewer by delving into their thoughts, encouraging meditative, spiritual and profound ‘self-conviction’.
 
Timothy Warrington
International Confederation of Art Critics