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Artist / Ruthi Helbitz Cohen

Ruthi Helbitz Cohen

b. 1969, Tel Aviv; lives and works in Ein Vered, Israel.


Ruthi Helbitz Cohen's work is centered on the female body, which emerges in different shapes and forms: in the guise of a clown, an angel, a young girl, a mythological goddess, or a historical figure. Some of the depicted women belong to her family circle, others are anonymous. Her works contain a multitude of elements that do not always come together in orderly fashion; they appear "imperfect," leaving the viewer room for interpretation.

On the truck, Helbitz Cohen chose to paint two scenes addressing the freezing of a traumatic moment via three responses to threat: F.F.F—fight-flight-freeze, contemplating ​​painting in motion (while driving) as a process of rectification (tikkun), whereby one may emerge from the moment of freezing.

On one side, she depicted a burnt (bay) tree with a head peeking out of it, one of its arms covering a female figure—a sensual young woman with a red flower on her head, who watches another pair of women. According to the artist: "My Daphne (Daphna, Heb. laurel) has climbed down from the tree, and was doubled and tripled (a holy trinity); she is now liberated from the burden of the male sex, including her own father."

On the other side of the truck she painted four mothers and a remnant: "My four mothers have also undergone a transformation. The symbols accompanying them—a rabbit whispering a secret, a heavy heart, a bonnet, and angel's wings—tell a secret. Soft Skin Angel appears on my angel, because an angel has no skin. The same absent figure has different aspects, it is the remainder, the decapitated head of Holofernes held by Judith, the name of my private and first mother."

The movement of the truck redeems Helbitz Cohen's heroines from the frozen traumatic moment, introducing a shared dance. The work was created with wall and spray paints directly on the truck, without preliminary sketches and without preparation.


Studied in the Departments of Fine Arts and Psychology at the University of Haifa, at the Department of Fine Arts, Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem, and at the Midrasha School of Art, Beit Berl Academic College. Currently coordinates the MFA Studies at Oranim Academic College of Education and teaches art at the Midrasha.


Courtesy of Gordon Gallery, Tel Aviv & Jerusalem 

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