Artist in Focus: Roy Efrat

June 19, 2020

Keeping with our virtual conversations, we have been checking in with our artists to understand how the recent pandemic has influenced their studio life and routine. This time, we caught up with Roy Efrat to get a glimpse of the artist’s studio, work, and thought process.

HOW DO YOU DRINK YOUR COFFEE?

I wake up early to meditate a long meditation – which I cannot perform unless I drink a whole pot of black coffee beforehand.
WHEN DID YOU REALIZE YOU WANTED TO BECOME AN ARTIST?

In Art school. Understanding what being an artist really means, I felt I found my place.

WHAT ARE YOU MOST FASCINATED BY THESE DAYS?
My partner and I live in Swansea, an industrial city in Wales, having coming here to prepare for an exhibition and stayed because of the Coronavirus. The city is still under quarantine, it is so empty, no traffic and no people. I hear only seagulls for two months now. Their cries are my white noise, my room tone. They amplify a feeling of strangeness, of un-belonging.
DO YOU HAVE A STUDIO ROUTINE? WHAT IS IT LIKE?
I like to refer to it as a ‘working routine’, as the physical studio is only used for the ‘dirty’ work. My routing is thus divided in three: writing, computer-based work, and painting. It’s like having a ‘regular’ creative day job, where the bosses are my dreams and demons, and I’m with them every day, worshipping them.

CHOOSE AN OBJECT IN YOUR STUDIO THAT IS IMPORTANT TO YOU. WHAT MAKES IT MORE SIGNIFICANT THAN OTHERS?

I guess I would have to say my video projector. For me it is poetic, it enables me to sculpt with light, work in darkness, to question the physically of hiding, or revealing, offsetting and mapping. It is there yet it is not. It is an object yet it is not. All of my art revolves around this fragile phenomena that I cannot even rely on (because video projectors, in general, are not the most reliable machines).

WHAT ARTISTS OR ARTWORKS ARE YOU MOST INFLUENCED BY?
I look at giants like Rauschenberg, Kentridge, Joan Jonas, Francis Alys, Pierre Hughes, Ann Imhof, Jordan Wolfson, Eddie Peake… And that’s to name but a few.
WHAT ARE YOU READING RIGHT NOW?
‘Smooth as Water’, by my dear friend Tali Shamir-Werzberger: I’m in love with her language which I can hear while I read, and the two main characters.WHICH CITY WOULD YOU SAY HAS IMPACTED YOUR ARTISTIC PRACTICE, AND HOW?
My birth city, Jerusalem. The terror, the religion, the aggression, the beauty, and the sublime, all carry into much of my work. In some ways it also reminds me of London, where I’ve lived for the past four years; a conservative cool climate that is always bigger than you, and only occasionally rewarding, but then it does reward on an extremely high level.

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST MISTAKE YOU MADE IN YOUR LIFE?
Not to have escaped when I was circumcised. In the Jewish tradition that takes place at eight days old, so perhaps I hadn’t really much of a chance.
DESCRIBE YOUR IDEAL LUNCH.

Hot and spicy.

ANY ONLINE RECOMMENDATIONS?

I went through The Quarantine Guide and it was amazing. Also, the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden broadcast some of its shows (I liked Kafka’s Metamorphosis performed by the Royal Ballet..;)

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