An Artistic Victory

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Surely the Great Masters would have cracked a smile as Boys Town Jerusalem student Raviv Bussi clinched an award from the Ministry of Education’s National Exhibition for High School Art Graduates for his outstanding artwork. The motif of his winning project: a whimsical spoof on three masterpieces—including one where he painted a worm inside a famous Magritte green apple classic.

Unlike the majority of the over 50 students from across Israel who were selected for the competition, Raviv is not an art major. The 18‐year‐old Jerusalem native majored in electronics at Boys Town, where he excelled in his academic pursuits. Yet art has been his passion “as long as I can remember”, and he joined the school’s program of extracurricular art studies that continues till 7 PM. “There I learned to look at the world from a far different, very disciplined perspective,” he admits.

Well‐known Israeli artist Yitzchak Giladi heads Boys Town’s extracurricular art program, which has grown from art lessons to include studies in art history. This enables the Boys Town students to take the national bagrut matriculation exams in art, in addition to their majors in technological subjects. The art matriculation exam encompasses both art history as well as the practical arts, where the presentation of a portfolio of the student’s artwork is required. “When I studied the works of the masters, I started thinking about going a step beyond,into the absurd,” admitted Raviv. “There had to be a reason behind Edward Munch’s classicportrait The Scream, I was sure. So I added a cockroach that I dangled in front of the screamer. And when I took a close scrutiny of Mondrian’s perfectly straight grids, I decided to make one of the lines curved and round. It was an exercise in discipline to recreate the masterpieces, with a bolt from my own imagination added for good measure,” he smiled. The Ministry of Education judges were quite impressed, and awarded Raviv one of the top prizes. The prize winning works were then exhibited to the public at the Begin Center in Jerusalem.

“Raviv Bussi (who graduated in 2013) was an exceptional electronics student,” notes Principal Rabbi Elimelech Ya’akov. “His technological skills are very advanced‐‐‐but he has the soul of an artist. Boys Town provided him with a means to combine and develop both of these very different talents, which will doubly enrich his life.”

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