23/04/2011 by Sarah Ritchie
Often a country will have an artist or artists who’s work becomes synonymous with the land and its culture. In New Zealand it might be Dick Frizzell; in Australia, Ken Done. The artist’s work may be licensed to appear on souvenirs (mugs, t-shirts, prints, etc) which helps the artwork to spread; or – in the case of Yair Emanuel (Israel) – their original work is so popular it can be seen all over the country – in souvenir shops and art shops alike.
Yair Emanuel specialises in the design and production of original, hand crafted Judaica products, which are products relating to Jewish life and customs.
Emanuel’s designs are so alive. Their amazing, vivid colours catch the eye and beg to be taken home. When we lived in Israel it was my goal to purchase some of Emanuel’s work before we left…which we did (picture, above). Here, at home on the other side of the world, it is like having a little piece of Israel in our living room.
A writer on http://www.gans.co.il expressed it well: “When purchasing an object of Yair Emanuel you get more than just a decorative art item but also a piece of Jeddishkeit [the quality of being Jewish] and [the] spirit of Israel.”
I applaud artists who can find various avenues to express and distribute their artwork. Art need not be merely one painting on one canvas waiting for one buyer, and Emanuel has found his way of bring joy to homes across Israel and across the world.