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Meet Dana Nechmad in Loop

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dana Nechmad.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Dana. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Since I can remember, I have always been into art. My entire childhood bedroom was covered not with teen posters but with my own drawings on the walls and on the furniture. For my 12th birthday, I got my first easel, actually, a few days ago, I found in a family storage unite an oil self- portrait that I have painted when I was 15 years old – I think it’s one of my best pieces!

I grew up in Israel and moved to Florence Italy for my undergraduate studies. There, I studied the very basics of classical western painting: sight-size, anatomy, color theory, etc. It was an exciting time for me, I have learned to speak Italian, I lived in a beautiful classical European city and got the first taste of life on my own. However, it was life in a tourist town full of marble sculptures and I felt I am living in a museum and not in the real world. After almost 5 years there, I moved back to Tel Aviv and decided to dedicate myself to some theoretical studies that accumulated to an MA in philosophy. It was so interesting to be on the analytical side of aesthetics but I missed my paintbrushes too much. I realized that I could never be satisfied with quoting theories and needed to find my own unique voice. I returned to the studio and dived in. Shortly after, I got accepted to graduate school at SAIC and moved to Chicago.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Absolutely not a smooth road – more like a rollercoaster ride.

Being an artist comes with a lot of soul-searching, digging inside and facing yourself. I feel the best works of art are the ones that bring forward what we often try to avoid. My studio practice forces me to constantly challenge myself and question what I am doing and why I am doing it. That comes with a personal emotional price, Also, being a professional artist means that all this is being presented publicly and that is a very vulnerable position. Having said all that, to be able to express myself and be part of an artistic conversation is a great privilege and I feel very lucky.

Please tell us about Dana Nechmad.
I make installations, drawings, paintings, objects, video work, I manipulate different fabrics and found textiles often by dyeing, bleaching, heat pressing, cutting, reassembling, and embroidering them.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I would trust myself and my instincts more.

It took me a long time to stop thinking about what I ‘should’ make and start making what I want to make.
I was always a very good girl, did what was expected of me, I truly love my family and respect them and never really rebelled. Ironically, now that I am a grownup and a mother myself, I’ve finally got the confidence to don’t give a fuck about what people think and have the attitude I was missing as an adolescent.

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