Gallery of International Naive Art in the heart of Tel Aviv radiates the warmth, joy of enchanting naive art from around the world. Rich verdant landscapes, brilliant ruby red accents and gentle earth tones entice the viewer in to experience a world of dreams, magic and universal treasures of the soul.
Dan Chill, founder of GINA, represents more than 200 artists from more than 33 countries. He expertly weaves together into one portfolio the best of modern naive art known today, art with bright colors, exquisite skill and the core essence of the best of humanity.
Chill is discovering each artist, each story, with an intrepidness only a bold visionary would ever dare consider.
While negotiating an aviation industries agreement in Honduras, Chill discovered this universal expression of family, community, life magically presented with simple lines, brilliant colors. Starting with one painting, then two, Chill filled his home with timeless stories that warmed the heart of every visitor. Family, friends, even the postman, were attracted to the tenderness, memories of a life before and the shared hope and desire for the essential qualities of human existence – love, compassion, joy. Chills says,
“naive art speaks to the crazy heart of mine and to the heart of others.”
Realizing the unique and special opportunity this collection presented, Chill left his vocation of international commercial law ten years ago for his advocation for naive art to establish GINA.
Opening and expanding the window into naive art, Chill introduces the art collector to a world beyond Henri Rousseau and Grandma Moses. He explains that “naive art celebrates the human narrative and is a timeless genre,” starting possibly as long as 32,000 years ago as cave art.
“Naive art is not limited solely to Central and South America or to pastoral scenes of everyday life of the common folk, ” Chill shares, “There is a “rich vein” of naive art throughout North America (USA and Canada) and both Western and Eastern Europe, some of which highlight urban scenes and /or life among the higher levels of society. And, yet, although it is is the oldest genre in the history of the art world, it is the least understood and appreciated genre, mainly because – until 10 years ago when GINA Gallery was established – no gallery had been established to cover the world of naive art by hundreds of artists from tens of countries.”
Chill proves it is a cliche to limit the scope of naive art to a few and even to recognize that some monumental artists such as Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, Henri de Toulouse Lautrec were once outcasts in the art world and art market at one time.
“people visiting GINA Gallery for the first time express a feeling of having been “gypped” because they had not been provided with the opportunity, until that very moment in their lives, to view and appreciate the beauties and splendors of this glorious genre.”
In fact, the financial investment into naive art is reasonable with prices ranging from $200 to approximately $8,000 and in a few cases more.
The response to naive continues to delight and surprise Chill. In an exchange with the Alder-Hay Children’s Hospital in Liverpool, the GINA naive art paintings selected by the hospital were not static decorations on a patient’s wall but active lively storytelling tools for the children to engage and learn how to create the next chapter in their own lives as healthy and vibrant.
Integrating art and music, Chill partnered with the Israel Opera and one of the artists he represents, Sophia Kalageropoulou, a Greek opera singer and naive artist for a special performance and exhibit, “Sophia, Paint Me an Opera”. It was an evening of arias performed by sopranos, tenors and baritones corresponding to the operas Kalogeropoulu painted and that were on exhibit in the foyer (antechamber) of the Israel Opera House. Chill explains it was rare occasion and a success for all partners.
Chill is leading the dialogue on the colorful, raw talent and visions of naive artists and their unique role in the global dialogue between cultures.
Investing in the search, research, curating and presentation of global naive artists, Chill – perhaps the only one to do so – reveals the true universal nature of expressive naive art. Chill meets each artist in his or her own home be it as sophisticated as a street in Paris or a rural home of economic simplicity yards off of the community soccer field.
Usually self taught, the naive artists reveal the intrinsic urge to visually communicate the stories of families; moments of love, tenderness, kindness; and communities helping one another. In a way, the naive artists are the elders in the family sharing nostalgic colorful memories allowing for a moment to forget the hardships, conflicts, hunger, loss, war and painful scars on the spirit.
“there is a lot of chaos going on in the world, wild confusion as we leave our homes. Naive art offers a great deal of tranquility and joy, at least in the home life.”
In essence, through naive art, Chill is showing our common humanity in a world often devoid of humanity.
As Chill explains, naive artists say
“let us show you how life could be, an idealized world, that could be, would be, if …”
By Keri Douglas, writer/photographers, Washington, D.C. (Please follow 9 Muses News copyright use policy.)
As you browse the gallery of images, notice the colors and the smallest of stories – a couple doing the tango, sitting at a cafe, a man giving flowers to his love, the change of perspective from frontal to the bird’s eye view, the colorful costumes and more.