“The mixture of colors, sounds, and smells from the streets and the markets of Jerusalem shaped my awareness of the past as a foundation of the present. Today, I create pieces with many layers, textures, and techniques, such as collaging, printmaking, acrylic painting, and drawing."
- Michal Nachmany
One of the central themes of Nachmany’s work is that every person and every object has a journey. Her work focuses on the ways personal and cultural journeys are captured in memories and objects, with work that reimagines and repurposes found objects of daily life. As an immigrant from Israel to New York, she explores the journeys of people and their keepsakes from a personal perspective.
Nachmany’s technique combines mixed media, including collage, printmaking, and sculptural installation, to sew together swatches of life through images, colors, and words. She uses collage as a medium to create new stories about the memories and histories evoked by the objects she uses in her work. In this way she juxtaposes themes of personal and cultural narrative, nostalgia, and repetition using memorabilia, legal contracts, letters, photo albums, matchbooks, postcards, and other found objects from daily life. By bringing together these different elements in new ways, she seeks to open up dialogues between the objects, as well as between the people who attend her shows. These artistic dialogues create a space for communities to come together to connect over works of art, and to share memories and observations.
As Nachmany has exhibited her work across different communities, she has observed that collecting objects and preserving memories from the past occurs in varied forms across many different cultures and communities. The act of collecting represents a universal desire to preserve fragments of the past through its physical manifestations, while continuing to move forward in a rapidly changing world with new stories and new keepsakes. The techniques of mixed-media and collage allow memories to be recreated and repurposed within a community, a family, or on an individual level. In her art, Nachmany explores this dichotomy by relating these objects through new forms that give these images and stories additional layers, recreated meanings, and new beginnings.
Nachmany's work has been exhibited in solo shows in New York City and nearby. Her first international solo exhibit was on display in Taipei, Taiwan in the Fall of 2016, and her next international show will be in Krakow, Poland in Spring, 2017.
"Every artist is born somewhere and even though he may later respond to the influences of other atmospheres, a certain essence — a certain 'aroma' of his birthplace clings to his work.”
- Marc Chagall