Wanetik Sculptures: When History Meets Art

By On August 1, 2019

Life is strange, to say the least! My vision to scour the globe for unique artisans has led me down many seemingly unrelated paths. It is interesting though, that it somehow always merges with my mission to curate not only wonderful artists but also stories that are fascinating.

Israel has been on my travel wish list for years and a sudden whim led me to start reading up on artists located in the region. Last month, I chanced upon some unique metal sculptures by Artori Designs and reached out to the artist. It was a perfect fit for both Let’s Curate and the store in question.

Towards the end of the conversation, the lady I was speaking to, happened to mention a new series of artistic, metal sculptures of animals. What was compelling about it is that it is based on animal illustrations from the book of drawings by the illustrator Malka Wanetikis and created using the technique of laser cutting.

Upon digging deeper, a tale steeped in history unveiled itself. Malka Wanetik was born in Odessa in 1919 and immigrated to Israel in 1923. In addition to her work as a secretary, she studied painting at the Free Military Academy in Alexandria and in Israel, with the most famous and respected teachers like Yitzhak Frenkel, Mokadi, Janko, Steimatzky, Streichman, Hanna Tversky and others.

In 1967 her book of illustrations: “Drawings – Animal Characters” got published. The book includes 24 illustrations of animals that she saw and expertly draw in the first zoo in Tel Aviv.

Malka Wanetik was Artori Design’s owner, Ori Niv’s grandfather’s sister. She had no children of her own and Ori had no other grandparents, so she was actually his grandmother.

To mark the 50th anniversary of the publication of her book, Ori chose several drawings from it and turned them into metal sculptures made of laser cutting, while trying to preserve as much as possible the delicate and clean line of illustrations.

Let’s Curate is thrilled to welcome Artori Designs who created Wanetik Metal Art collection into its fold. I thank Ori Niv for letting me write about the history behind the art.

All Wanetik art sculptures come in the form of a small sculpture for the shelf and two larger sizes for hanging on a wall. You can view the collection here. These creations breathe life into the beautiful illustrations that are almost forgotten and turn them into a contemporary, aesthetic and special element.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I have!

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