Israeli-born artist Maimon reflects the beauty of the patrons who visit his bar
Colourful French artist Isaac Maimon says there is beauty in every human being – and he is inspired to bring that beauty to paintings such as Three Ladies which will be among the lots for the Ian Wyles liquidation auction of Beverley Jewellers’s assets in Umhlanga December 8
Maimon is particularly enamoured with the women of Paris – the chic ladies he calls “cultured, stylish, sensual and beautiful”. Feminine curves, mysterious smiles and impeccable fashions are invariably the subject of his Parisian cafe society paintings with their colourful strokes of colour. So, it comes as a surprise to learn that Maimon was born and grew up in Israel.
Encouraged by his French-speaking parents, he attended the Avni Institute of Fine Art in Tel Aviv, Israel’s most prestigious academy for the arts, where he developed an adoration for the work of French painters such as Toulouse-Lautrec and Matisse. Maimon also found motivation in the work of his fellow Israeli artists, being particularly inspired by the style and technique of painters Haim Kiva and Moshe Rosenthalis during his studies.
In 1980, he started teaching at the School of Visual Arts in Beer-Sheeba and, later that year, the Kaye Art Academy before becoming a professor at the Ben-Gurion University in Beer-Sheba in the late 1980s.
Maimon’s second career as Parisian restaurateur and pub owner has helped foster his artistic talents. On breaks from tending the bar and managing the day-to-day operations of his business, he is often seen sketching cafe patrons, interpreting feelings from their expressions and postures. He sketches from life in the cafe and then goes to his studio to put colour to the ideas on canvas.
The artist, whose absorbing work is shown in private and public collections and at art exhibitions and galleries throughout the world, has a simple explanation for his work’s appeal.
“When art lovers enter my world, they feel relaxed and connect with the scene.
“They can forget their everyday problems and become emerged in romantic fantasy.”