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Israeli artist Aharon Gluska was born in Hadera, Israel and now lives in New York. Gluska's works focus on the faces of victims of the Holocaust and have an eerie effect in a gallery installation. The images appear to suggest faces appearing from a mist or from time past, as if midway between absence and presence, in and out of the memory of the viewer. His art is also an attempt to put faces on the victims. On occasion, as shown on images on this site, the facial images are arranged not on walls, but on the floor, which creates a grave-like effect. Gluska's early images were single, evoking memories of the photographs taken of inmates as they were registered into concentration camps. His later works have the form of multiples, a repetition of images that suggest the transformation of human life into ash or nothingness. In some of his works, those portrayed look right and left, as if there was no exit. The darkness surrounding the facial images reinforces the darkness of the event, and the fate of those depicted.
Another suggestion in some of Gluska's multiple series is that of bystanders peering through a small hole to see just part of the face of the "victim." In such serial works, unlike the tradition of Andy Warhol, each image has varying distortions. Some of the images evoke 19th century Daguerreotypes or silver emulsion images, or may even be considered as faces from sarcophagi from Roman or Byzantine tombs.
Gluska's dark abstractions in the form of an artist's book suggest an emotional response to the negativity of the human suffering of the Holocaust and images of oblivion.
For more information:
Aharon Gluska website.
Aharon Gluska is featured in the book Jewish-American Artists and the Holocaust by Matthew Baigell
Site constructed with permission of the artist. Page updated 2012.