Many of Yoel’s works are animated by the colors he chooses, and his palette is full of bright, simple color like deep blues, reds, and yellows, but one of the most striking moments of Yoel’s works are actually when the color stops.

Yoel uses black and white lacquer paintings as a vehicle to highlight specific moments in his works, specifically where the contrast reveals something that may otherwise be lost to his audience in his surrealist-inspired work.

For example, in his piece, “INSPIRATION ARTISTIQUE,” Yoel paints what is both a pianist at her instrument and an artist at her easel, and while the figure, the palette, the piano, and the easel are in black and white, together they create color with their art. The muse of the dove, the spiritual muse of godly inspiration hovers among the color as the object of the figure’s loving gaze. It is a love affair with the spirit of art, or god himself that gives this work its wings. Here, using black and white for the earthly, and color for the creative, Yoel encourages the belief that creative inspiration is divine, and art is what gives color to our lives.

But there are other love affairs in black and white in Benharrouche’s lacquers. In “LE FRUIT DE LA PASSION” Benharrouche decorates the love story between his two figures with small, bright patches of color. The simplicity of this love is derived from the black and white lines that make up its figures, who gaze longingly into each others’ eyes, surrounded by foliage and music. Benharrouche deftly includes the ornamentation of a passionate love affair, but relegates it to the background, instead choosing black and white to be the dominant palette of this specific couple. This simple passion is a stunning homage to what makes us mortal and what lifts us higher.

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