Ora Nissim is an Avant Garde, Judaica artist whose work reflects the extraordinary journey that she embarked on in life. This is certainly remarkable when you consider the circumstances of her religious upbringing and background, in an intense Orthodox neighborhood of Jerusalem, yet she channeled her memories and experiences directly into her art.
Her work is a blend of Judaic and contemporary Jewish art, which is abstract expressionism of nature, reflecting her own beliefs about life and Judaism. For Nissim, religion is multifaceted, which can be seen in much of her work, mainly through the use of diverse colors and textures that represent the many different aspects of Judaism she has encountered in life.
Each painting is soaked in spiritually that takes the viewer on a journey that Nissim herself experienced. She feeds us with what she has seen and experienced, some of which reflects a grounded reality while others relate to the imagination. Every painting is powerful, colorful, and full of life.
Through blots and distinct expressionistic style, she draws Jewish motives, glorious figures of holiness along the allies of Jerusalem. There are paintings in which subjects are taken from the Jewish experience and everyday life, while other subjects are abstract and describe the atmosphere, color, and motion.
From the Western Wall and Jerusalem to Hasidic weddings, each subject is brought to life on the canvas, in a rich and colorful composition full of expression and intrigue. Unsurprisingly, Nissim’s reputation as one of Israel’s finest artists continues to grow both home and abroad.
Having sold her work in North America, Europe, and native Israel, Nissim is a renowned international artist in every sense of the word, she’s won multiple distinguished international art awards. The Caravaggio Prize for Art Innovation was awarded to Nissim in 2018 at the Little theatre in Milan. The Botticelli award was handed to her in the Borghese Palace in Firenze, for her breakthrough in innovative art by the European art Jury. This year she’s already picked up the Velazquez award in Barcelona by attending the biennale at the MEAM museum for modern art. As if that wasn’t enough of an accolade for a growing name in the international art scene, her work has reached the prestigious auction house of Sotheby’s in Vienna, also the renown Waldorf Astoria in Jerusalem has bought several of her paintings.
At only 41-years-old, there appear to be no limitations for Nissim, which is only good news for the Israeli and international art community.
But how and when did this incredible story begin?
Ora Nissim was born in 1978 to an Orthodox family residing in the Mea She’arim neighborhood of Jerusalem. She comes from a humble background, being one of 12 siblings living in a modest one-and-a-half bedroom apartment alongside their parents.
Her parents knew nothing about art, her father buying a Torah scholar and her mother a preschool teacher – for them, the Torah was the only form of art worth mentioning. Yet this didn’t prevent Nissim from developing a love for the craft, that would go on to shape her future and the success she would go on to achieve.
Nissim’s journey began at only seven-years-old. She was suffering from an illness, but her parents couldn’t find the time to take her to a doctor’s appointment, so instead, the responsibility fell onto her sister. While constantly waiting long hours at the doctor’s office, her sister provided her with crayons to color with.
After being so impressed with what Nissim had created, her sister showed her work of art to her parents. They were so impressed that they immediately signed her up for a drawing class that would help shape and molds her artistic abilities.
Eventually, her father made the decision to send her to art school, but her options were limited in Israel, with no options for religious women. This led her to study art abroad, attending the Lebozar Art Academy in France, where she would further hone her craft, slowly developing the abstract style that we see today.
Not being a native French speaker, she would often fail to understand the teacher’s instructions, leading her to produce work that was unlike anything else in the class. This would help her find her own artistic place and voice.
Today, Nissim continues to tell her story and the story through her work. Each painting is a living, breathing extension of the artist herself, and can be viewed in distinguished galleries around the world.
Ora Nissim.com is home to fine art prints and original works from Nissim herself. You can view a wide collection of her work here, as well as make inquiries about purchasing original pieces and prints of her incredible catalog of work.