About Me

I was born in Lebanon and grew up in a Jewish neighborhood in Beirut. After the Six Day War, my family immigrated to Israel. I went to high school in Bat Yam and completed my Baccaluréat at the Lycée Français in Netanya. I then studied French Literature and History of the Middle East at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and pursued my studies with a Master's degree in Communications. Following that, I served as press attaché at the French Consulate in Jerusalem for seventeen years.

Sculpting in stone has always been my passion. For many years, I pursued it as a hobby. Lately, it has become my full-time profession. There is something very enjoyable and satisfying in doing what you really like. I find that making art involves the physical and spiritual inner forces that exist in me and that I want to express. My sculptures combine many aspects of my personality: sensuality, intuition, softness, rudeness, spontaneity and technical abilities. The result is a piece of art that contains many of these contradictory fascinating elements. Stone has a special meaning for me: similar to a human being, it needs to be handled with prudence and patience. If you apply too much force, it may break. But if you treat it with care, it will reveal its wonders. Viewers are free to interpret the piece as they feel at this particular moment of their lives.

me

Fortuna Szpiro

  • 1984-1986 Philadelphia School of Art, USA
  • 1990-1995 Paul Taylor Studio, Jerusalem, Israel
  • 2005-2010 Reuven Sharf Studio, Kibbutz Hulda, Kibbutz Hulda, Israel
  • 2009 and 2012 Madeline Wiener Sculptors’ Symposium, Marble, Colorado,USA
  • 2013 Art Students League of New York, USA

Sculptures

Exhibitions

Group Exhibitions and Galleries

  • Marble sculpture selected for the “Biennale de Montreux 2017”, for exhibition on the shore of the Lake of Geneva, Switzerland, August to November 2017
  • White marble sculpture selected for the 120th Annual Juried Exhibition of the Catharine Lorillard Wolf Art Club, at the National Arts Club, 15 Gramercy Park South, New York City, November-December 2016
  • Bronze sculpture selected for the 88th Grand National Exhibition, The American Artists Professional League, New York City, November 2016
  • Elizabeth V. Sullivan Gallery, Vytlacil, Orangeburg, NY, (juried exhibition), July – September 2016.
  • July 2015. Selected for the Sculpture Garden of ArtSouthampton, Long Island, NY
  • Leonard Tourné Gallery, 46 East 65th Street, New York City, June-July 2015
  • Phyllis Harriman Gallery at the Art Students League of New York, USA, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2106 (Blue Dot Award 2015 and 2016).
  • Art Students League of New York, USA, 2013, 2014, 2015 (Blue Dot Award)
  • Redwood Gallery, Colorado USA, July 2012
  • La Maison de France, Universite Hebraique de Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel
  • Galerie 30 Art Contemporain, Le Cannet, France, June 2012
  • Exposition, Artistes du Monde, Cercle Lorraine, Bruxelles, Belgium, May 2012
  • Galeria al Ha’Agam, Raanana, Israel, May 2012
  • Gallery Gebo, Tel Aviv, Israel, February 2012
  • Paul Taylor Studio Jerusalem, Israel 2008 Bet Ha'Omanim, Jerusalem,Israel 2009
  • Reuven Sharf Studio, Kibbutz Hulda, Israel 2011
  • Redwood Gallery, Colorado, USA 2010

Solo Exhibitions

  • Jerusalem Theater for the Performing Arts Gallery, September 2012

Reflections on Sculpting, Abstraction and Emotions

WORKING WITH STONE

As a sculptor, I work with various stones that come from all over the world: Brazil, Turkey, Israel, USA, Egypt, Italy, Afghanistan etc… The color, texture, roughness and smoothness of the stone are important to me because they reflect the diversity that exists on the planet and in its peoples. Stone carving is a great challenge: stone is a delicate medium; at each stage of the work it could break. This is particularly true towards the end because this is when the stone reveals itself and becomes vulnerable … like a human being! The artist conducts a constant dialogue with the stone and she needs to be sensitive and attentive at each touch. In my opinion, working with stone is the ultimate communication between human beings and anorganic material. It teaches even the brash and arrogant how to be gentle and patient. Stone is full of mysteries and surprises. The initial rock may seem rigid, hard and inflexible – even ugly – but under the skilled touch of an artist it becomes soft and delicate. Even though it appears at first as an incoherent mass of grey matter, it possesses its own logic and harmony, which it reveals only gradually during the sculpting process.

FINDING MEANING, CREATING EMOTIONS

Creating an abstract form is not an easy process. First, one needs to invent, not to copy reality. Second, one needs to find meaning and create emotions that can and should go beyond race or culture, in order to produce international connections between human beings. In spite of our various differences, everybody should be stimulated, according to his or her state of mind. This complexity is best achieved in abstract forms because the possibilities are unlimited. The beauty of the abstract form is that one can interpret the final piece any way one desires, according to one’s own inspiration and mood at this particular moment of one’s life. This freedom, when viewing the sculpture and interpreting it in an individual manner, gives the piece its ultimate richness. I usually choose not to name my sculptures because by attaching a title, one limits the viewer’s imagination. A name would restrict the viewer to its label, instead of opening the piece up to the mind's eye and allowing the sculpture to inspire different people in different ways. My own inspiration and respect go to artists like Jackson Pollock, Henry Moore, Georgia O’Keefe, Isamu Noguchi, René Magritte, Constantin Brancusi and many others who went their ways with courage and determination.

PLEASE TOUCH

My sculptures are more than just a visual experience - you are welcome to touch them! Contact with the stone is a powerful experience. Try it and see how it affects the way you conceive the sculpture and how you connect to it. But do keep in mind: sculpting is a long and difficult process. Please touch with care and only with clean hands.