Michale Beck, a Lamerhav graduate, is studying sculpting, painting and drawing at Bezalel Academy and is still debating his direction in the art world. “It’s very dynamic and evolving”, he says. “I’ve been in boarding schools since age 5, and that was really my starting point and my grasp on life and has given me the strength to move forward, even with all the crises I’ve gone through at home. During my military service I got into multimedia production and video work. Before that I studied graphic design in high school. I’ve been interested in art my whole life but it was Lamerhav that really made me realize that this was the direction I wanted take – I don’t have parents or a home and I see Lamerhav as my home – my work with my counselor, the support and mentoring I got pushed me to enter the Bezalel preparatory program, to look into architecture school, and when that didn’t work out, to pursue art, and right now I love the choice I made. I definitely feel like Lamerhav guided me. How does Shula put it? She fits every young person with the suit that they need – that really sums it up for me. I got the right suit for me.
Bezalel: I feel at home there, supported. It’s an open and free environment where I can experiment. I’m comfortable exploring different art forms, seeking advice and creating with a sense of almost complete freedom. My Bezalel application exercise was related to Israeli society and its complexity and diversity and that’s a topic I’m very interested in. I see my future in the field of art and education. I’d like to incorporate art into boarding schools – so that art can reach anywhere. There’s this perception that art is only for people who can afford it and that’s not true. It shouldn’t be true. I feel this way because I’ve had help but there are people who haven’t and won’t be able to get help. Not everyone has Lamerhav and that’s why I’d like to help young people who are interested in art – help them see, experiment, and create, even if it’s someone coming from a place that supposedly doesn’t provide opportunities or a focus on art.
Inspiration: Arie Aroch is a very well-known Israeli artist. I love his work because, like me, his main theme is “home”. He’s worked in many places and in every new place he would look for local materials and try to create using them, and dealing with the question: what is home to me? He has a piece called “Red House”, and I created an abstract piece that’s sort of similar where I deal more with domestic violence and called it “Red-Black House”.
Michael’s art may be viewed on his website.