THIS IS NOT A PAGE ABOUT CAPITAL: AMOUNT OF EXHIBITIONS HAVE BEEN OWNED, NUMBER OF DIPLOMAS PURCHASED, OR VIPs RUBBED SHOULDERS WITH. IT IS A BIOGRAPHY OF AN ART LOVING PERSON AND HIS ARTISTIC EVOLUTION, INSPIRATIONS AND HARD ART WORK.
I was born in Iran. I was born twice. My second birth coincided with the death of a nation's aspirations and right to determine its own destiny. The oppression of millions of people's hope cost just 1 US million dollars. Mosaddegh was ousted and Iran has not recovered ever since. That was my socio-political birth, its parents being imperialism and colonialism.
At seven, living in despotic Iran, instructed by my father, a self-proclaimed poet, I took my first painting class. I was fascinated by watercolors set in little cubes in the rectangular metal box. "I am not going back to that class" I remonstrated, "it is not fun." Grid and realism ruled the day. My imagination was unruly. That is where I kept drawing and painting.
At 13 y-o the uprooting forces of the western colonial waves carried me to occupied Palestine setting in motion a turbulent, lengthy and contradictory process of becoming a socio-political artist being. Beginning a Zionist ending as a non-violent person and conscientious objector, farming cotton field, becoming a historian, witnessing the shattered dream of the equality and fraternity represented by the idea of the Kibbutz, and watching the rise of a horrible militant society aiming at ethnic cleansing and reversing the roles of the victim and perpetrator; learning the art of woodwork and metalwork, refusing arms work; racism, poverty and injustice battering my conscious intensifying a path towards becoming a universal being, and making a move that paradoxically resulted in fulfilling my artistic passions of painting, writing and becoming an artful therapist.
My family moved to America at a historic time. It was becoming evident that there is an inherent disharmony between the Republic and the Empire and between Democracy and Capitalism. America is at war with itself. It is a class war. 400 individuals own almost as much wealth as the bottom half: 150.000.000! 40 million adults, and almost 9 million children and teens are on psychiatric medication; the ecosystem is collapsing under the excesses of societies addicted to consumption.
Capitalism is an absurd system; it is "fundamental terrorism against all humanity". The brush, its strokes intensified, is my involvement and non-participation in the most heinous crime in modern human history. My paintings are the "I believe", mine, yours, whoever.
When in 1991 I moved to America, a complex integrative narrative began to emerge, intensifying and revolutionizing me and my artistic approach and expression.
An individual has value only in the context of his/her community, within a collective, only as people. Art for profit defies human aesthetics. Van Gogh was a humanist who craved for recognition (and love) and I believe as such he would have detested Sotheby, all these ultra-modern marble museums and fancy art galleries with artistically alienated customers in search of marketable commodities. Picasso represents the other pole of the artist who bulldozes for fame, singularity and being a myth. Yet how fascinating is, what I call, his "poor period". Painting for the sake of painting, creating for the sake of creating.
Art being basically subjective and intuitive has no place in formal learning or teaching. Art schools are what other schools are about: factories promoting the causes of the elites.
Elitist sympathies being the real psychopathology of all times, contagious and contaminating art and artists. in a true society, everyone is an artist. As Marx and Angels put it "the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all." Art is not only "a form of action [but] a form of social action" as Mark Rothko proclaimed.
I invite you, the observer, to take part in this social action. Under such circumstance, with a personal narrative in play, a painting of mine may become yours.
Academia, as mentioned, would do the unthinkable to my art; confining artistic creativity and internal liberation, and liberty.
I have had three guiding principles throughout my living struggle: Love, Beauty, Knowledge. In that order. I pursued History and Classical Studies, at Tel-Aviv University while I cherished the joy of freely learning and intuitively expressing in non-traditional, non-conventional art workshops and retreats, focusing mainly on drawing and oil painting.
With a Doctorate in clinical psychology and an innovative non-technical biographic-therapeutic approach (published as a book), I have been helping people heal and live a life creatively; Artfully. Art is therapeutic. Therapy is art; rather than a technique, as art is. Art could be a conduit for a New Relationships Paradigm. Human beings are relationship oriented. From very early on and all along the course of our life we search for relationships.
Through art, we relate. Art is a transformative experience in relatedness, to the self, other and the surroundings.
Therapy is a relationship, an interpersonal one, A new relationship that never happened before, that challenges the boundaries of our self and world perceptions and thus may give birth to new growth experiences. Therapy may be a transformative experience.
The artist and the artful therapist both serve one core purpose or IDEAL: To make the world a better place. That is why BeelZan labors to paint and Dr. Herzel Yerushalmi co-founded Footprint New Jersey LLC,
With such a dual-existence, BeelZan strives to attain the freedom of expression, free from monetary constraints, from market tyranny, that an artist deeply needs when approaching the canvas to be worked on.
In Between ALL lies Art.
A word about when one of my paintings touches a deep synapse in you:
Viewing art as an instrument of non-violent action for social change, BeelZan will contribute 40% to the BDS movement to help the Palestinian people under occupation and oppression; and contribute another 40% to to the charity fund at Footrpint, a center for Counseling and Therapy Services in Jersey City, to provide counseling to residents of the community who cannot afford the care they need. (The other 20% for covering art material expenses).
In recent years I work from my studio at Springfield New Jersey.