We had the good fortune of connecting with Yossi Ben Abu and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Yossi, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
I was born in Israel for a family of Moroccan origin. Maybe due to my Moroccan heritage I was always drawn to geometrical shapes, especially those that create complex patterns. I was born deaf so I had to rely on my vision to communicate and I think that this is one of the things that made me an artist – the ability to express myself in non verbal ways. I was always very curious about the environment around me, architecture, nature and visual art and I am constantly influence and get inspired from anything that I see around me.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
For as long as I can remember, I have been drawn to shapes, patterns, geometry and structure. Math was never my strong suit, so I looked for other ways to satisfy my curiosity. I spent years sketching, designing, cutting and folding different materials into three-dimensional arrangements that expressed significantly more than the simple essence of the material. As an artist and a deaf person, I enjoy studying patterns, shapes, placement and forms. I find it fascinating to use precisely cut geometrical figures made from paper, wood, glass and porcelain to explore nonverbal ways of expressing and exploring emotions and desires. My art breaks the mathematical beauty that exists in perfectly balanced geometrical shapes in order to illustrate feelings I cannot otherwise express. Many of my works explore the use of monochromatic combinations and the effects of light, time of day and shadows on the way it is perceived by the viewer. Several years ago I created the “Swirl Collection” as a series of precision cut, handmade, paper designs composed from a mesh of transformed square based pyramids. The white, black or colored paper pyramids were twisted, extended, dragged and protracted in space to form individualized visions of nonfigurative expressions.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I really enjoy urban areas, architecture, people and faces. Luckily I am not constantly exposed to the noise and strong sounds of the city so I am not looking for quiet and relaxed retreat location for my vacation. I love to watch people and to learn about new cultures. I spent the last few years living in San Francisco and I think its a great place to experience. It has everything from well known attractions like the Golden Gate bridge and Alcatraz, famous restaurants covering every possible cuisine, fascinating architecture, people and nature. I also love the gallery and open studio scene in San Francisco. There are amazing museums like the SF-Moma as well as dozens of galleries and hundreds of independent artists studios that cater to every possible taste and preferences. I don’t like to have a strict itinerary when I travel. I like to go to a specific part of the city, walk and explore. You can never know what you’ll find

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I was born as the only deaf person to a family of hearing parents and siblings. From very young age my mother made sure that I get the proper education in sign language but at the same time insisted that I will grow up like any other child, study in a regular school with hearing students and learn how to achieve everything by myself. My deafness made me focus on my vision and I believe that this is one of the reasons I was drawn to art and design. I owe a lot to my mother that always insist that I’ll get the same education and skills any other hearing person gets so I will not be at disadvantage due to my disability

Website: https://yossibenabu.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/yossibart/

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