Speechless #2, 2008, acrylic and varnish on canvas, 95 x 100 cm, courtesy of the artist, photo: Avraham Hay
Sara Kahana's works are based on the tradition of Expressionist painting and are characterized by strong, almost saccharine colors and the combination of viscous layering and diluted paint. At their center is the image of a sexual, grotesque feminine body whose boundaries are perpetually breached. The female persona is exposed in all of its weakness, as if battling internal chaos and spiraling out of control in swirls of color that surround it, echoing its internal drama. Different kinds of decorations and clothing items are incorporated into her distorted and blurred body: a necklace, a grandiose collar and a crinoline, upswept to reveal a skeleton and flesh like a spider web. Skeleton, internal organs and excretions are all bound up as metaphor of streaming consciousness and the constant intermingling of inside and outside. The woman's sometimes ambiguous sexual identity is at other times exaggerated, à la Kafka, into the figure of an insect, in which beauty and monstrosity exist side by side.
Born in Kibbutz Zikim, 1955; lives and works in Haifa