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Art attack: Israeli ex-sniper blasts paint in mental health message

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ASHDOD, Israel, May 5 (Reuters) - Former Israeli army sniper David Roytman has turned his hand to action painting, using guns and live-fire ranges instead of brushes and studios to blast colours onto canvases.

In Israel, Roytman uses a pistol to shoot bags filled with paint, which then splatter onto a wood-board canvas, creating the artwork. In his native Ukraine, he creates paintings in a similar way by using the cannon of a World War Two-era tank.

Roytman, 42, describes the method as way to exorcise difficult memories from his combat service.

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Former Israeli army sniper David Roytman, who uses live-fire ranges as studios and guns instead of brushes to create his artworks, uses a pistol to shoot into bags of paint suspended between the muzzle and the canvas, at a shooting range in Ashdod, Israel April 11, 2021. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

"This is my healing by art. When I'm shooting - not on people, not in a war, not during the military service - I'm doing this for my, let's say, fun, for my way to say something to the world," he told Reuters. "It makes me feel at peace."

Amidst the resulting splashes and holes, he intersperses letters in Hebrew, English and Russian, seemingly at random - an invitation on the viewer to form words.

Twenty of the unusual works have sold at between $5,000 and $10,000 apiece, said Roytman, who also designs high-end Judaica.

The art's message is that "everybody needs to think, when they are sending their boys to fight, to protect their country - they need to remember that when they come back they need support," Roytman said, alluding to veterans' mental health.

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Writing by Dan Williams; Editing by Ana Nicolaci da Costa

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