While Normandy is perhaps most closely associated with the D-Day Allied landings on its beaches in June 1944, it is an art-lover’s paradise.
It’s a long way from Rouen, France, to Jerusalem, Israel – geographically, culturally and artistically. Ethan Amram, a talented, 22-year-old Jerusalem-based artist, was 10 when, in 2009, together with his parents, he moved from Rouen, capital of the Normandy region of northern France, to Jerusalem.
While Normandy is perhaps most closely associated with the D-Day Allied landings on its beaches in June 1944, it is an art-lover’s paradise, from the famous 11th-century Bayeux Tapestry to the home of Impressionist master Claude Monet in Giverny with its verdant gardens that inspired much of his work. Yet ironically, Amram explains, it was the family’s move to Israel and his attendant difficulties in learning Hebrew and adjusting to Israeli culture that forced him to express himself through drawing and art.
Ethan and his parents moved to the Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Homa. His older sister had come to Israel several years earlier and married.
“When I came to Israel,” says Ethan, “there was no ulpan in our neighborhood to learn Hebrew, and school was held only in Hebrew. For eight months, I didn’t understand anything.” Ethan needed to express himself, but lacking in Hebrew proficiency, turned to drawing. He started with pencils and progressed to oil paints. He attended high school in Yemin Orde and took art courses at the artist’s colony in nearby Ein Hod.
The first exhibition of his art was held at a private gallery in Ein Hod when he was just 14. Since then, an additional 10 showings of his work have been held at different venues, from Yes Planet and to the most recent showing in Jerusalem Theater.
Recalling his family’s immigration, Ethan says that there was not a large French community in Har Homa when they first arrived, but over time, it grew. Nevertheless, he says, “I prefer to be with Israelis. That’s how I learned the language. I learned faster that way, in an environment that speaks another language.”
Ethan says his father, who has spent much of his time in Israel with fellow French expatriates, still has difficulty speaking Hebrew. Nevertheless, he says, the family is happy here. “There was a lot of antisemitism where we were in France, and in the end, this is our land. We were very Zionistic.”
Ethan paints expressively in a large format and uses bold, lush colors to capture the essence of his subjects. He draws the faces of people whom he has met in his life here in Israel, focusing on their facial expressions. “Every period of my life has had a different setting,” he notes, “which has inspired me to paint according to that setting.”
Just over two years ago, Ethan was drafted into the IDF, and once again was inspired to take yet another direction in his art.
Ethan does most of his work in a spacious storage area in the family’s Jerusalem home.
Most of Ethan’s family, including his 96-year-old grandmother, have remained in France, though he has cousins living in Netanya. Ethan hopes they will come to Israel someday, especially his grandmother.
that inspire him alot ,here the story about this young artist with a big future ,
you can see his work in the new exhibition in jerusalem theater
opening ; sunday 23.7.17 at 19;00