Ody Saban, The Return of the Great Goddess

Art can reveal the artist’s inner world, with which many people can identify themselves. It may trace the relation many people have in common. But beyond, a piece of art can be a system of the world, and it is what winds up the most.

Such is how Ody Saban succeeded. In a period of  thirty years, the progress of her art can be seen on three continents at the same time, by the use of myths which turns upside down the principles. What pushed her from Turkey to Israel, from Israel to Egypt, Egypt to France, France to the United States and back, sometimes here and sometimes there, zigzagging in various social backgrounds, with a preference for the marginal ones but always the eyes quite open? This was necessary for her undoubtedly to pull herself together.

The fact is that the sixteen year old girl, suddenly seizes the multiple sides, specially the contradictions of the East where she was born (not only for her but also for us all) in her personal character, overcoming school education and showing a special tendency towards the abstraction.

All her progress will aim to exceed these contradictions which climb towards a higher unit, that she will seek to stay a step behind time, towards the original source, making use of ARIANE, the mediator carrying the theme of a couple; the simplest symbol of love.

But what is her main ideal, her Utopia? It is by the touch of her feelings, without losing the track, that she reaches her aim? And as it is true for many people, fate brings her what she needs. Woman! And asserting the enthusiasm of feminity, she nominated the female symbol to the moon, and the Triangle- female figure if it is, the symbol for God the Father- with homosexual elements- quickly become omnipresent in her drawings as pubis or face, possibly horned, satan, therefore positive. On the other hand, the Bible and the Talmud will provide her with Lilith; sixty eights and New York will bring fusion of the Feminist and the Witch; the inspiration of Çatalhöyük, finally, carrying the preeminence of the Goddess- Mother, with which she will associate the Child. The movement of her esthetics follows the movement of her initiation: increasingly more complex and getting richer every day. She reinvents painting in rollers, installations which are like rituals; with gowns of painted fabrics, hairstyles, masks, broken mirrors, thrones... Then handwritten books, type bodies, true formulations making up unique examples.

The reckoning of the gods and the goddess has been settled. Diane, Goddess of war, and Lady of the lake are reinstated in the great worship, Gorgone is rehabilitated, while Athena is denounced for passage to the enemy. At last, it is the great return to the fabrics where the pure colors of blood, water, the sky, vegetation and sand. It is the celebration of the harmony refound by the use of abundant complex bodies. It is a great cosmological achievement, filled with a Utopia carrying the reassurance against all forces of death.


  Michel  Lequenne

  Historian of Art  and Art Critic