Assaf Rahat’s works at ‘Chimera’ carry on his previous body of work, portraying mental and autobiographical symbolism: self-portraits, skulls and torn body parts alongside animals and childhood cartoons, conjoined together to form a cacophony of hybrids and chimeras.
According to Rahat, the motivation behind his current work shifted from the expressiveness of the hand movement towards a focus on the formation of an image that instigates the next one. As with a jigsaw puzzle waiting to be solved, Rahat’s mental images, deriving from the realm of dreams and memories, are combined in an associative sequence, piecing together a surrealist world on the border between childhood innocence and dark visions.
Upon entering the gallery space, the visitors are welcomed by a circular work made of thread, echoing the linear strokes of the line drawing presented at the exhibition. The symmetry surrounding the axis of this work resembles the symmetry of the inkblots in the Rorschach test. The use of threads brings to mind the obsession described by the psychoanalyst D. W. Winnicott in “Playing and Reality”, studying the case of a seven-year-old boy’s obsession with threads. The hybrid creatures on the gallery’s walls appear to belong to a chimerical world, parallel to the one of Hieronymus Bosch’s masterpiece The Garden of Earthly Delights. All these suggest possible inspirations for the works in Chimera. The works provide a glance into the obscurities of Rahat’s mind, the fantasies, fears and memories he carries within.