Source: Roy Saper, Saper Galleries and Custom Framing

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Hope, faith, love and contemplation are the experiences one feels in viewing the paintings Israeli artist Ben Shiff created in his visual poetry now on display at Saper Galleries in downtown East Lansing.

Shiff's distinctive style is a blend of realistic figures and a touch of cubism. His figures are drawn from a profound knowledge of human form and its emotional potential, and are examined through a metaphysical prism. The subjects seem to search for comfort and refuge, and possess a kind of lyrical melancholy. They have a translucent quality, an illusion of an inner light. They express the artist's quest to resolve the conflict between an often cruel reality and his innate idealism.

"I enjoy his unique style but also his sensitivity to the emotions one experiences alone or with a partner," explained gallery owner Roy Saper, who acquired the paintings for the present exhibition. "There is a spiritual sense that the viewer experiences while enjoying the paintings. You want to share them with others because they connect with feelings you've experienced very much like written poetry shares the feelings of the writer."

A critic recently wrote that "Shiff's paintings are like a journey into a world in which the colors, shapes and figures establish a liaison that was not created for the sake of the picture alone, but rather particularly for the spectators outside and ... we the spectators are invited to enter and allow ourselves to be immersed in the warmth, love, confidence and faith of the true beauty, peace and serenity of life."

The only display of Ben Shiff's canvases in the United States will continue through October at Saper Galleries, 433 Albert Avenue, downtown East Lansing, Monday through Saturday 10 am to 6 pm and Thursday nights until 9 pm. Saper Galleries will also be open the first Sunday in September, (September 5, 2010) from 1 to 4 pm. More information on Ben Shiff and photos of the artwork displayed are at The gallery is fully accessible and is always open free to the public. Call 517-351-0815 with questions.