The exhibition “Leonid Balaklav – An Obsessive Portraitist” (25 June – 10 October 2015) at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art brings to light to art-loving public a talented artist with a unique artistic voice. Among the participating works of art was Balaklav’s painting “Portrait of Gideon Ofrat” from the Levin Collection, owned by the art collector and financial strategist Ofer Levin GTI.
Leonid Balaklav (1956 -.) was born in Moldavia and studied art in Kiev and Odessa during the 70̍s. He immigrated to Israel in 1991 and immediately afterwards began presenting self portraits at the Gordon Gallery in Tel Aviv. In the late 90̍s Balaklav asked to paint Ofrat’s portrait. The diagonal of Ofrat’s figure in the painting emphasizes the position of hist body in space. The portrait here obeys the painting mode of many of Balaklav’s other figure depictions that usually present ones that are generally at rest or indrawn with a background of an extraordinarily strong and soul liberating light of Israel.