2000 – U.S.A
Nowhere is this tendency clearer than in work of Ody Saban ( b. 1953 ), an artist of Turkish origin who lives and works in Paris. She says of herself, “Up until nearly six years I took myself for a reincarnation of Lilith, who in the Old Testament is the woman cursed by the misogynist God, and I wanted to avenge Lilith ( as I still do today, for that matter ), and accomplish her work which, for me, is a beautiful work. Today, after seven years of psychoanalysis I still believe the same thing, but I know that is not what one would normally call reality. Perhaps it is stronger than reality.”
Like Monsiel, Saban’s hermetic pictorial worlds are anchored by large central figures – often couples embracing or copulating – whose forms and space around them is filled with moving, living objects that enact the fulfilment of their own desires. In common with the work of Surrealists, such as André Masson ( 1896 – 1987 ) and Salvador Dali ( 1904 – 89 ), the forms in Saban’s drawings seem in a constant state of metamorphosis and Flux; eyes are flowers, cheeks are lakes, bodies are landscapes, and so on. However, where Surrealism utilized such visual metaphors as a means of revealing unconscious operations of thought, rather Saban presents the viewer with what she has seen to be true: “My art is magic art. I am a shaman, a seer. I am in continual metamorphosis. ... I transform myself. For example, I feel a flower. I enter into its skin and regard the world through it, just like I enter into the skin of someone else.” Saban actually sees animate objects occupying the surfaces of the larger objects around her which brings a sensual deluge to scenes whose content is already manifestly erotic.