THE TOWER OF BABEL (titled in French) by GABRIEL COHEN
French-Israeli, born 1933
signed, oil on canvas
49 1/2″ x 51 1/2″Born in Paris to Sephardi-Jerusalemite parents, the father, a tailor who also studied Kabbalah, the mother, a seamstress. Having lived through the German occupation of Paris, the family emigrated to Israel in 1949. Gabriel the 6th of 11 children earned money from odd jobs. He began to paint at 40, while working as a diamond cutter and night watchman. He occasionally paints on extremely large canvases of which this is one. His work is suave, sophisticated and powerfully naive. He mixes realigy with dreams, East with West, light and shade, playfulness and violence, grandeur and humour. He has held one man show all over the world in museums in Europe, US (Jewish Museum, NY), Canada,and Israel. His works have sold at Sotheby’s and Christie’s Int’l.
O. Bihalji-Merin, World Encyclopaedia of Naive Art, Harper & Row, Scranton, PA,1985