On Saturday, July 20th 2013, Artetude Gallery hosted the Opening Reception for new works by artist Leonid Siveriver. The newly crafted sculptures are a continuation of the Spirit series that began for Siveriver in Israel, and were inspired by varied elements of ancient cultures. Specifically, African masks and primal war helmets.
In its original context, African masks and war helmets are a guise, one that endows the wearer with an alternate identity. This façade has for millennia been a universally accepted element of an armored warrior or protector. The form is also recognized as a facilitator between the living world and the supernatural world of the dead, ancestors and other mythological entities. Anthropologist Frank Herreman relates, “One of the most dramatic manners whereby the contact between humans and the supernatural acquire a visible form is at the moment that spirits under the form of masks appear… the mask is a means of partially or wholly covering the face or the body to render it unrecognizable, and through which the masker acquires another identity.”
In abstracting components of the mask and war helmet, Siveriver projects elements that symbolize virility, strength and spirit, through this a dynamic contemporary aesthetic is created.
Mr. Siveriver began his artistic journey as a schoolboy in Ivano Frankovsk, Ukraine. At the age of 14, he immigrated with his family to Israel where his passion for art continued, leading to entry into the world-renowned Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem where he received his bachelors degree in fine arts. His love of sculpture led him to Pietrasanta, Italy, where he began his study of both marble carving and bronze casting. He then interned at the Johnson Atelier Technical Institute of Sculpture in Mercerville, New Jersey before establishing his own studio in Roosevelt, New Jersey.