The importance of gallery representation for contemporary artists cannot be underestimated. Handing the promotional work over to someone else allows the artist to spend more time in the studio creating art. Award-winning urban photographer Shifra Levyathan has been an Agora artist for more than 10 years. She has participated in a number of group and solo exhibitions over the years. Her work was most recently featured in Illumination: An Exhibition of Fine Art Photography from April 28 – May 18, 2018. Here, she shares the beginning of her journey with Agora Gallery and how her artistic career has progressed since then.
What was your source of inspiration for becoming an artist?
Ever since I was a little girl I remember myself drawing, painting, and taking photographs with an old Kodak camera. However, I didn’t start taking photography seriously until 2007 and ever since I have immersed myself in it. Most of my work is guided by my inner feelings which is a reaction to life, both mine personally and the one of others around me. My inspiration comes from within.
What has contributed to the evolution of your artwork over time?
A turning point in my work came about in 2010 when I was unable to walk for some time. I was no longer able to go on long walks with my camera, snapping pictures as I went. I had to find another way of expressing myself; so I learned to work in Photoshop with photographs I already had. Ever since I see the photograph as the starting point in my work: l treat the frame like an artist treats the canvas: l add and subtract until I produce what l see in my mind’s eye.
What was the determining factor that lead you to join the Agora family of artists?
My journey with Agora Gallery started after entering the yearly competition for artists, Chelsea Fine Art Competition. Although my work was not selected by the jurors, I received a letter from Angela Di Bello, the Executive Gallery Director, inviting me to show my photographs as part of the annual photography exhibition. That was in 2008 and 10 years later, the gallery feels like home. I am always impressed by the team. The gallery is very well run and it is a great platform for me to show my work.
As an established artist now, what would you say to a young artist?
My advice to young artists is to follow your heart and try to incorporate your inner feelings into your work. Open yourself up to the world around you and when the time is right to start showcasing your work, you will know. I would like to take this opportunity to tell the Agora team that the previous years with you have been great, and hopefully, there will be more to come.
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To view more works by Shifra available for purchase, please visit her ARTmine page.