Francisco Troconis and Gary Culbertson, owners of Contemporaneo Asheville, discovered the work of Yossi Ben Abu during Art Basel Week in Miami. “We were immediately drawn by his exquisite aesthetic, his exploration of geometry and the effects of color and light exposure with the shapes that he develops,” says Troconis.
Abu’s career in architecture inspired his pursuit of art. He worked with computer modeling programs to create a sketch of an art piece, then made three-dimensional printouts to build the piece. “I really loved how it came out, so I continued experimenting,” he says. “I made 3-D printouts, joined some of them together, unfolded some of them, looked at them separately, then cut out the pieces from paper and folded the parts again.”
This experimentation process drew the artist to paper, which has been his primary medium in recent years. “I like the diversity of paper, the way it folds and changes when you cut it, the endless number of colors it can absorb and its overall humility as a material,” he says.
Abu’s work is heavily influenced by urban environments. “It can be a set of tiles, pavement, graffiti on the wall, an interesting fabric or a metal structure,” he says. “A lot of my inspiration comes from Moroccan motifs, like arches or tiles that you see on houses in that country. My parents are of Moroccan origin, so I’m heavily influenced by their sense of style.”
Contemporaneo Asheville has added Abu’s “Eclipse” series of works to its permanent collection. “I really like these pieces because of the internal movement of the composing elements,” says the artist. “They are made from simple shapes, but I can enjoy looking at them for hours.”
Contemporaneo Asheville is located at 4 Biltmore Avenue, Asheville. To learn more, visit ContemporaneoAsheville.shop or call 828.253.0879.