It is with great pleasure that we announce the ACCJ Kansai ‘Art for Charity’ Part IV event ~ ART & BMW ~ to be held in support of Food Bank Kansai (FBK) and the ACCJ Kansai Community Service Fund. We are proud to again collaborate with Kitano Alley Gallery (KAG) and its many talented artists at this spectacular venue.
この度、在日米国商工会議所関西支部(ACCJ Kansai)はACCJ Kansaiコミュニティサービスファンドを通じ、フードバ ンク関西(FBK)を支援するイベント「アート・フォー・チャリティ パート4～アート&BMW～」を開催致します。 素晴らしい会場でKitano Alley Gallery(KAG)とその才能溢れるアーティスト達と4度目のコラボレーションを皆さまにお届け致します。
Palm Beach Daily News By Chris Romoser
Surrealist Royi Akavia challenges the eye and the mind with his artwork. Earlier this year when the leading luminaries of the New York art world were railing against Donald Trump’s proposed 7,600 apartment development on the Upper West Side, surrealist Royi Akavia saw things in a different light. While no less than 40 of his contemporaries donated art to a benefit auction to fight the coronation of Trump City. Akavia announced his support for the project by donating a canvas to trump. “I felt like all these artists many of whom are quite good, had missed the whole point.” Said Akavia, a former Israeli soldier whose paintings have been exhibited in Palm Beach Galleries for three years. “Whether the artists like or do not like Trump does not matter.” Akavia said. “They are artist and they should know that he can support the arts like few other people. If they do no like his work, let their art show it.” Trump was no taken with Akavia’s gift, titled Life in New York City, that he kept it for his executive offices. For Akavia, Trump’s thank you letter was a source of inspiration. I looked at the letter and then looked at the signature and it hit me like a stone. Akavia said. “Trump’s signature is like the New York City landscape. It goes up and down just like the buildings do”.Not unlike a latter-day Jasper Johns or Andy Warhol, the 34-year old Akavia emblazoned Trump’s signature on canvas, the imbued it with the big city skyline. For an artist whose work conjures thoughts of Salvador Dali and Joan Mire, the effect is nothing less than original.
“I painted buildings and windows in the signature, and also Trump’s helicopter and yacht” Akavia said. “Only a few a friends have seen it, and some of them think it is commercial – but it’s not. I have not tried to sell it at all.” Instead the artist places a signature series a group of painting featuring the autographs of prominent people. Akavia’s vision and hope is that the series will someday find a home in a museum. “I think the idea is very right for the time we live in.” he said. A straightforward man not given to flattery or deep, introspective musings, Akavia burst onto the art scene a few years ago after living on the streets of New York and the beaches of Palm Beach. From such humble beginnings the artist is now poised for a major one man exhibition next month in New York.
Born and raised in Haifa, Israel, Akavia studied architecture before serving four years in the Israeli army. Akavia then traveled through Europe for five years, during which his art “became the central part of my life.” After a second stint with the Israeli army in Lebanon, Akavia spent another three years wandering through Europe and Scandinavia. During that time he honed his craft in pen and ink and had his first exhibition in a laundry room in the famous gallery row Saint Germain des Pres in Paris. For Akavia, that was the encouragement that led to a second show in Amsterdam. Akavia arrived in New York City in 1985, a penniless artist who painted to eat and survive. “I sold my painting for $5, $25, whatever I could get.” He said.” For a while I was an exhibitionist artist, performing on the street. I never begged for money. I always worked at my art.” After a year of roughing it in the Big apple, Akavia came south to Palm Beach. He said the ocean and the sun were an inspiration for this work. “Palm beach has bee good for me.” Akavia said. “It is a dream place, which made me cynical in a way. I had to sleep in a tent on the beach or under the bridges, but my art went well. I rested by the ocean during the day and painted late at night. Eager to show his art in Palm Beach, Akavia approached the Mizner Gallery on Worth Avenue, which agreed to exhibit four works. Akavia then went back to New York City where he landed a couple of more shows before returning to Palm Beach. One day Akavia took a few of his acrylic paintings to the Frankel Gallery on Worth Avenue which moved last year to the Plaza Del Mar in Manalapan. He laid them on the floor and asked owner Ken Frankel if he was interested in buying any of them.“Frankel liked my art.” Akavia said. “He knew that I didn’t have any money so he took care of my rent and paid for me to fly back to New York to get the rest of my paintings out of storage.” Over the course of the last two years, the Frankel Gallery exhibited Akavia’s work alongside that of Erte, Dali, Miro, Peter Max and John Lennon. The artist also had shows at galleries in Beverly Hills and Santa Monica, Calif.
Akavia’s work usually centers on grotesquely shaped torsos against brightly colored backgrounds. Whether a painting focuses on a man or a women, a fish or a dog, there is always the unusual and the distorted that taxes the mind for understanding.
Although Akavia and Frankel had a paring of the ways (Akavia is looking for another gallery in Palm Beach to show his work), the artist is now preparing for the biggest show of his career a 40 painting , one-man exhibition in mid-October at impresario Kazuko Hillyer’s Gallery International 57 in Manhattan. This will be a major show for me.” Akavia said. “To have a one-man show for a whole month in New York City is a dream. What makes it very special is Kazuko Hillyer, she is a very smart woman and a power in the arts.” Indeed, Hillyer in a well known performing arts entrepreneur who has brought more than 40 international orchestras to the United States. Her gallery, at 188 Seventh Ave. directly across from Carnegie Hall, has been a locus for international artist and other personalities.
Akavia, who married last year and is the father of a 2 month old son, met Hillyer earlier this year and convinced her to visit his studio. “I went to Royi’s studio and I was immediately impressed with his work.” Hillyer said “Not unlike the artist, the work is very exploitive and very bold. Royi’s black and white pieces remind me of Picasso because they show the abstract influence. Royi says he is a Surrealist but I think he’s an expressionist.”
More Project will post ready for this year