The site - is the life and creative pursuits of artist Anatoly Shmuel Schelest are described in milestones. Although in this case, the two are inseparable.
Perhaps this could be said about any great artist. However, in the case of Anatoly Shmuel Schelest it is fascinating how intertwined his life decisions and artistic expressions are. This is true for even the minor events, which at first glance seem to be happenstance.
It is the end of the 60’s. An ordinary Kievan boy goes to his grandma’s village every summer. His grandmother has a bible. During this time, a bible in a house was a rare occurrence. Religion might not be against the law in the Soviet Union, but being part of one was discouraged, to put it mildly. In those years when every other boy was frolicking through the fields and playing games, this ten-year-old boy is perusing the bible with determination. No, he is playing with the other village boys as well. But the bible… the bible entrances him. And as in a vision: his place is in Jerusalem. “But how do I get there? How will He find me here?” These are the questions this boy asked himself late at night.
To date Anatoly Shmuel Schelest has already been living in Ma’ale Adumim for 10 years, nestled between the desert and the holy city. The workshop in which he works is located in Jerusalem itself, in a stunning location, in front of the Old City walls.
Between these two points – a child’s dream of Israel, and its realization ten years ago – lies all of his life and art. Thousands – that is not a hyperbole. This number also includes works in which it can be clearly seen that they are a milestone, an improvement, a new phase; and unending exercises – variants of the same theme, the same figure to find the perfect version of what he already feels, what he already “sees”, but what he is still unable to express on paper or canvas.
Schelest understood early on that his path is to be an artist. However, not everything was going according to plan, and only in 1983 did he attend the graphic department of the Kiev Institute of Fine Arts. He was already a grown man; he had a family, two kids.