Sami Zilkha was born in 1936 in Baghdad, Iraq, and immigrated to Israel in 1951. In 1950, he graduated from the Tel Aviv College for Art Teachers. Zilkha was introduced to the art world through his work with the painter Jan Gilon in the Do Re Mi theatre.
Zilkha took it upon himself to learn the craft of goldsmithing, and became skilled within two years. He soon became the principal goldsmith at the workshop of the late Eli Gera for many years after that. After creating jewelry for celebrities such as the actress Elizabeth Taylor, Zilkha became interested in Judaic design, and this influence has dominated his artwork up to the present day.
To create his works, Zilkha has developed an original technique of combining cardboard and fabric in liquid to create a mold. Images are then etched into the mold and glued to a canvas board. Additional etching is done after the canvas has dried, and then the painting process begins. Three layers of oil paint are put down. The finished piece of art will vary in completion time from 15 to 30 days.
Zilkha’s unique works have been displayed in museums and exclusive galleries across the globe.
“All my paintings are taken from Biblical passages. They float in space like a wandering soul. They are imaginary and surrealistic. The uniqueness of my artwork is the mystery of these statements, the fact that we do not know who was the writer or creator yet we believe in them as fact.”