Roey Victoria Heifetz, *1978 in Jerusalem, Israel, lives and works as a transgender artist in Berlin.
Heifetz’s work used to consists of large drawings of oversized figures that seem to float against the background of the white paper.
In her works, the artist equally enters into an intense dialogue with her characters and with the act of drawing itself. Her way of drawing is kind of a continuous private performance. Her body-intensive strokes on paper, which she later partially erases, are all the more strenuous as they are performed balancing on a ladder due to the oversize of her works. In addition, Heifetz approaches her predominantly female characters by emphasizing her own femininity and dressing up accordingly. She replaces the usual working outfit with a sophisticated dress, which adds to the difficulties of her performed labor.
Focussing on both interaction and characters, she builds a fascinating enigma and balances the tension between figuration and abstraction, generalization and individuality.
Through her performative act of drawing with its physical effort, Heifetz draws the viewer into a similar intense relationship with her figures and thus incorporates him into the associative interplay of the characters. With a intense process she both deconstructs generic terms she sometimes applies to her figures, such us „The Secretary“, „The Librarian“ or „The Teacher“, but also their bodys.
In the context of her gender transformation, in which she noticed the transformation of her own body, the body of her characters is as well subjected by the artist to a process of investigation that digs below the surface for a deeper reality. Unprotected by a layer of skin, the bodies of Heifetz figures demonstrate both strength and atmost vulnerability and reject a one-dimensional approach or a clear attribution based on the surface. Her figures confront the viewer with their revealed inner and let us guess that in order to face reality, we have to deal with the abyss behind the surface. If we want change, they unfold, the transformative procees has to include the underneath-lying structural components. This might hurt.
Prizes and Scholarships:
In 2005, she was awarded the Bezalel Art Academy’s ‚Award of Achievements‘ by her bachelor’s degree, and the Taichung City’s 2006 Da Dun Art Exhibition, Taiwan’s ‚Award of Achievements‘. In 2009, after completing his MFA studies, Bezalel Art Academy’s ‚Award of Achievements‘, Tel Aviv and, 2010, the Artist-Teacher Award of the Israel Ministry of Culture followed. In 2011 she was a scholarship holder of Artis and 2012-2013 scholarship holder of the Künstlerhaus Bethanien Art Residency Program, Berlin. In 2014, she received a scholarship from the Mifal Hapais Culture and Art Council and the Lotto Foundation, Berlin. In 2018 she was a finalist of the Marianne Werefkin Prize in Berlin and winner of the Ann and Ari Rosenblatt Prize for Fine Artists, Israel, and was rewarded with a grant from the Artis organization in New York, USA.