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This is Dek Unu Magazine. In Esperanto, dek unu means "eleven." Eleven images from a single artist. Eleven artists in eleven solo issues in each publication year. Dek Unu publishes the work of a new artist-photographer in each issue. The artist's work and words are featured in individual focus as the sole purpose for each issue of the magazine.  Unlike other arts and letters magazines which might look for work from a variety of artists to support an editorial staff's theme, at Dek Unu, theme and imagery are always each artist's own. 

Israeli multi-disciplinary artist Yechiam Gal’s semi-autobiographical, cartoon-like book, The Legend of the Goldbergers, is an astonishing adventure in visual and literary storytelling. It is a memoir, but a memoir in which Gal says he allows himself “extravagant fabrications” – an accurate, but entirely inadequate description for the excursion into fantasy that the work requires.  In both the images and the narrative, hugely disparate parts are blended together in bursts of color, confusion, and connections.  Gal the writer and Gal the image maker leave the straight edges of reality far behind in favor of myth and mystery.

Various generations of Goldbergers live a blatantly incredible history, in a thoroughly scrambled geography. It’s as if decks of concepts (ancient Greece, contemporary New York, the future, outer space, power, combat, love, death, exotic spices, livestock, innocent bystanders, and much more) have been shuffled and reassembled into a non-linear, entirely new, reality.  Goldberger the Bedouin Conquistador and King Goldberger the 13th appear alongside Abishag, the seductress, Carbone the Famous, and Scott the Linebacker from Coxsackie. Images of Goldberger (the mermaid, the evangelist, the knight, the king, and various half-naked women) appear against city skylines, deserts, and seascape backgrounds. A viewer and reader’s survival instinct might try to make sense of all this, but the best response is to enjoy the flight, zoom in, dig the details, zoom out, and admire Yechiam Gal’s demonstration of the enormous power of imagination.

Unless noted, all images

©Yechiam Gal

As Isaac Bashevis Singer’s Gimpel the Fool says, “No doubt the world is entirely an imaginary world, but it is only once removed from the true world.”

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