5 Artists Talk About Itzchak Tarkay’s Influence on Their Work

Itzchak Tarkay working in his studio.

Itzchak Tarkay working in his studio.

Itzchak Tarkay is world famous for his alluring, captivating compositions, but, within the art community, Tarkay is perhaps best known for being a generous mentor to his fellow artists.

Throughout his career, Tarkay offered support to many up-and-coming artists, particularly in Israel where he shared studio space with several younger artists. Tarkay never hesitated to play the role of teacher, friend, or contemporary and, when he unexpectedly passed in 2012, his loss was deeply felt by the generation of colleagues he left behind.

In celebration of the beautiful art and life of Tarkay, here are five contemporary artists sharing their experiences with Tarkay.

 

Yuval Wolfson:

I had a long relationship with Tarkay. I met him when I was 21 years old for the first time. I was very fortunate to paint close to him for a few years. We had our studios in the same building, and I saw him every morning, either going to his studio, or him coming to my studio.

He was a great man, and I loved him very much. In his life, he was very optimistic and colorful… a very happy person. He always reflected good feelings and took care of people around him, always helping.

He influenced me a lot with his stories, with his paintings, and with his visits. I would get ready all day, knowing that, in an hour or two, Tarkay would soon come up to my studio, he would see my paintings,  and he would start talking about my paintings and his own life.

 

Mark Kanovich:

Itzchak Tarkay is one of the most significant painters and a wonderful person, whom I was lucky to know personally. He was a friend and a mentor for me and influenced my work and my artistic path immensely.

In his last few years, we met rather frequently, almost on a daily basis. Our workshops were located in the same building in Netzer Sireni Kibbutz, not far from Tel Aviv.

Daily conversations with such an artist included talks about art, about life, about music and literature, creating the unique atmosphere of those days. Almost none of my work came out of the studio without a word from Itzchak.

“I believe in you. You are a good artist and certainly will achieve success! Do not rush…”

These words of my friend and mentor Itzchak Tarkay will remain with me forever.

 

Peter Nixon:

There are legendary stories about Itzchak Tarkay being a man of few words, but, when we met at Park West Gallery events, there was always one subject about which he would speak enthusiastically and lyrically—painting.

Not only was he generous in sharing his own knowledge and inspirations, but he was always happy to hear about yours. What came through in these conversations was an endless curiosity about every subject, along with a humanity and a wonderful sense of humor.

Above all, he seemed a man who would be at his happiest putting all this love of life on canvas—the sign of a true artist.

 

Tim Yanke:

I had the pleasure and honor to share my studio in Michigan with one of the all-time greats, Itzchak Tarkay. [He] asked Park West Gallery if he could paint in my studio. Are you kidding me?

He spent three weeks sharing my studio space utilizing paints and just having a good time hanging out and painting. We swapped ideas, shared stories, and totally enjoyed each other’s company. I’ll never forget that certain twinkle/gleam he had in his eyes.

Seven billion people on Earth, and God chose me to be at his hospital bedside at the time of his death. I learned a great deal from him during our relationship. Ideas and techniques that are incorporated to this day in every painting I create.

While painting side by side, Tarkay introduced an acrylic paint stick to me. He showed me where he uses the sticks in his paintings. He explained to me the qualities and different applications you can get from these acrylic sticks. He gave me his entire supply of them before he left. I use them in every painting of mine.

I then passed them along to my friend, and fellow artist Lebo and touted how great they were. To this day, he still thanks me for sharing this technique. It’s nice to share, and Tarkay continues to live on through our works.

Thank you, Itzchak Tarkay, you are loved and missed.

 

David Najar:

When I talk about Itzchak, it’s hard for me to explain him only as an art influence.

The first time we met, I told him, “Let’s meet for 20 minutes. I want to ask you two questions.”

And this 20 minutes became eight years of a very close relationship. Five of those years we painted in the same place, from early morning until late afternoon. He was my best friend, and a kind of brother—sometimes he was the older brother and sometimes the younger brother, even though he was 28 years older than me—and, for sure, a mentor.

We used to talk about our artwork, the artwork of others, life, women, everything.

He used to tell me, “I’m not more talented than you. I just have more experience.” For me, that was a big compliment. Even if he was just saying it.

He shared a lot with me—his art, his past, his life, and more.

He was my friend.

 

 

Contact Park West’s personal art consultants at 1-800-521-9654, ext. 4, or sales@parkwestgallery.com for information on collecting the art of Tarkay.

 

LEARN MORE ABOUT ITZCHAK TARKAY:

Leave a comment

Prove you\'re human. *

Latest News

  • The Incredible Process of Bringing Salvador Dalí’s “Divine Comedy” to Life

    In 1950, famed Surrealist Salvador Dalí began work on an ambitious project—he was going to illustrate Dante’s 14th-century epic poem about the afterlife, “The Divine Comedy.”What he didn’t ...
    Read More
  • Do You Know How to Take Care of Your Art? Take Our Quiz...

    We love art, and we’re betting you do too. That is why we want to give you some expert tips on how to keep your art looking as beautiful as ...
    Read More
  • Everyone Wants to Take a Bite Out of Artist Matt Beyrer

    Artist Matt Beyrer has an uncanny knack for drawing depth and beauty out of unexpected places.

    So perhaps it’s not surprising that Beyrer’s artistic career began in an unexpected place—on a surfboard.

    Read More
  • The Strange History Behind Salvador Dalí’s “Divine Comedy”

    Salvador Dalí was an unusual choice to illustrate Dante Alighieri’s “The Divine Comedy.”Dante’s epic poem is considered one of Italy’s national treasures, a work embraced by both Italian cultural ...
    Read More
  • Collect Original Graphic Works by Salvador Dali in Our New Fall Sale

    Salvador Dalí is one of the most famous artists of the 20th century. Now you have the opportunity to collect works from the internationally renowned Surrealist in our ...
    Read More
  • Meet the Artist: 10 Questions with Patrick Guyton

    Patrick Guyton has combined his passion for ancient art techniques with a tenacious work ethic to create a truly unique body of work.Guyton’s art is a sight to behold. ...
    Read More
  • Park West CEO Provides Insight into ‘Self-Destructing’ Banksy Art

    Famous street artist Banksy has made art history by having one of his paintings elaborately destroy itself immediately after being sold for $1.4 million.The unprecedented stunt took place at Sotheby’s ...
    Read More
  • Park West Auctioneer Spotlight: Alex White

    It takes a special kind of person to head off onto the high seas to spread their love of art to travelers around the world.Alex White is one of those ...
    Read More
  • The History of Picasso Ceramics: How Picasso Changed Pottery Forever

    Between 1946 and 1973, Pablo Picasso created a breathtaking collection of original ceramic works.Over the past 50 years, Park West Museum has developed one of the largest collections ...
    Read More
  • Understanding the Delicate Process Behind the Art of Patrick Guyton

    The artistic process Patrick Guyton uses to create his art is exacting, volatile, and precarious. This may sound hyperbolic, but for Guyton, something as simple as using the wrong ...
    Read More
  • Park West Gallery Enhances the Art Experience with New Interactive Technology

    As Park West Gallery celebrates 50 years in business, it’s continuing its mission of reimagining the art world with new and innovative ways for people to interact with art.Park West ...
    Read More
  • Meet James Coleman: 10 Questions with the Acclaimed Artist

    If you’re not familiar with the name “James Coleman,” you’re definitely familiar with his work.For over 17 years, Coleman supervised the creation of the hand-painted backgrounds for some of ...
    Read More