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An Artist's Studio: Rob Davidovitz

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I stopped by the studio of young painter Rob Davidovitz the other afternoon. Rob doesn't paint in the traditional sense, though. Instead he uses paint to create these textile/painting hybrids.

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A woven painting by Rob Davidovitz. All images: VoCA

He mixes paint colours in a kind of pastry tube (more on that below) and squeezes it out in long lines, like thread. Each 'thread' incorporates its own mix of colour that blends nicely in the final piece.They he lets the paint dry and weaves the strips, which he attaches to board. Pretty simple.

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Another view.

The work may not be terribly mature (yet) -- he's a young guy, but it's beautiful, and an interesting approach when you consider other artists who have used paint in a sculptural way -- I'm thinking of Kim Dorland's earlier work, for one. It's also interesting that Davidovitz cites the poured paint sculptures of feminist artist Lynda Benglis as an influence. His woven paintings do come off as strangely feminist, meaning that one can comfortably view them through the lens of feminist art -- weaving being a traditionally 'feminine' craft.

The works are seductive -- Davidovitz encourages you to touch and bend them; they're not delicate.

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The back of the work. The paint is glued to the board.

Davidovitz went to art school with plans to be a photographer. Believe it or not, he was working in a bakery, making a cake when he came up with the idea of pushing paint through a piping bag. Shortly thereafter he began experimenting, and eventually perfected the technique..

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Three smaller finished works.

Are the works paintings or textiles? "I weave paint," says Davidovitz. He's been showing here and there (including at Toronto's Textile Museum) since he graduated in 2005 and is currently preparing for a group show titled Hard Twist at the Gladstone Hotel which opens on Nov. 25. The exhibition, all textile-based work by 40 artists, will feature his largest work to date, an enormous piece that weighs over two hundred pounds and involved over 20 gallons of paint to create.

This is good -- he should be encouraged to think big and beyond, the way Benglis does.

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The artist with a single strand from his Gladstone Hotel piece.

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Some small strands.

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The weaving process.

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A close up.

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An early, experimental work.