Umbilicus Americanus I and II were created following a return visit to the United States in 2002 (I had been living in Israel for many years). We stopped at a gas station in Pennsylvania and the mundane scene seemed suddenly quite foreign to me after years of Middle Eastern landscape. I was struck by the size of the people, the size of the cars, the sheer size of the gas stations, the largesse of the land and the general feeling of entitlement which its citizens possessed. The scene revealed much about excess, consumerism, the growth of surburbia, supermalls, the infamous American love affair with the automobile and our dependence on foreign oil to keep all this going.
The paintings have been exhibited numerous times in the US and were recently featured on the homepage of Board of Investment Art . But now, the paintings have found their final home – in the University of Maryland University College’s private art collection. I believe that the paintings belong in an educational institution and I look forward to their inclusion in the upcoming UMUC exhibition of recently acquired works at the new Largo building in December.