Jonathan Silverman is a visual artist who works primarily in the mediums of painting, digital painting and video. Of an Anglo-Tunisian background, he was born in Manchester, UK, and grew up in Israel, moving to italy in 2001.
He holds a BFA from the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence, Italy (cum laude, 2006), and a PgDip from The Royal Drawing School, London (2011). He received the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant for excellence in figurative painting both in 2009 and in 2010. In 2012 he was artist in residence at the Sanskriti Foundation in New Delhi, and in 2015 was selected for the BoCs residency programme in Cosenza, Italy. He has taught at the Royal Drawing School in London, at the IIFA in India, has been a visiting lecturer at Rhodes University and Nelson Mandela University and runs regular art classes in collaboration with ArtWorks For Youth (NGO).
Silverman has exhibited extensively in South Africa and internationally (Italy, UK, Israel, Portugal, India), and has work in various private collections as well as the Royal Collection.
He currently lives and works in the Eastern Cape of South Africa.
Is it possible to be in the forest, and perceive it as a flat screen ? This is a metaphor for an aspect of contemporary living. Our lives are shaped by our connection to physical objects and our digital experiences. Beyond what we are consciously aware of, our interaction with the digital and virtual have a profound effect on our psyche. With its negative and positive implications, it is our inevitable reality.
The theme which ties the imagery in my current work together is of fragmented landscapes, lived through or collected, which allude to a longing for a more direct contact with nature. At times this is a romantic idea which may not be entirely genuine, but that also represents a deep and significant chasm in our being. Our idea of what nature is, as opposed to how we experience it, has discrepancies which I attempt to examine.
Through the combination of time-based and hand-made artworks, my work has developed into creating spaces where the physicality of painting is interrogated by placing it in contrast with ephemeral and digital imagery. When successful, the addition of sound and video to painting in this series of works strives to emphasise a sensation of interconnectedness, questioning the transient nature of the image and our perception of physical and virtual reality, while directing the viewer's attention to the underlying mechanisms of painting.