Dan Reisinger; Unusual Artist of Bold Whimsy

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By Ruth Judah

 

Dan Reisinger is one of the most prolific and creative Israeli artists living today. Now 75, Reisinger explains his life’s inspiration as a metaphor in three split colors: yellow for the yellow star, red for the Soviet Army, which liberated him from the darkest time of his life, and blue for the Israeli sky. His work is also split; sharp, but whimsical and The Skirball Museum has a free exhibition now running until May 11th.
The exhibition showcases the bold colors of the art of Dan Reisinger alongside the bold statements of his work. While the kids will have fun at Noah’s Ark, it is easy to view the posters and pictures in the exhibition, To The Point. Reisinger has enjoyed a prolific career in many art forms. His bright and defiant posters supporting Russian Jews are as energizing as his El Al posters encouraging tourism. He has designed buildings, books, Haggadah’s, calendars and postage stamps alongside a body of work that includes poignant fine art.
The Skirball exhibition focuses on the Reisinger posters that provided commentary to the social and political dilemmas facing Jews in the late 60’s to the 90’s. The show also presents Reisinger images that document the changing architectural landscape of modern Tel Aviv.
There is no surprise in learning the reason for Reisinger’s colorful statements about world events. At the start of the Second World War, Reisinger was successfully hidden by a Serbian family and after the war, his mother and stepfather took him to Israel; the rest of his family had perished in the Holocaust. They had lost everything and everyone, but Reisinger kept a connection to art and in 1954 he served in the Israeli Air Force, as head of the Publications division. The work suited him perfectly and he developed a skill with imagery by studying postage stamp design with a man who would be his mentor and longtime friend, the prestigious British designer, Abram Games.
It was in the 70’s that Reisinger was commissioned to design a new logo for El Al. “I wanted to bring something fresh, something new, something more cheerful to compensate for the dark years I went through,” he explained. He also took on the position of poster designer for the Maccabiah Games, a position he held until 2001. You will see his work at the Yad Vashem memorial museum in Israel and although Yugoslavian, the Hungarian government supported a successful one man show in Budapest for Reisinger’s 70th birthday.
In 2010 Reisinger had an exhibition in London and elaborated on his artistic voice and his desire to bring color to public spaces. He said of his art, “I am fed up with the political grayness and the political stagnation, and all the news full with negativity. We need so much optimism in (Israel). I want to do something which makes people smile.”
Today you can purchase a Vintage poster of Dan Reisinger’s art can on eBay for $100. It’s probably a solid investment in values and hope. It will also make you smile.