The holiday season, by Beau Geste
Oil on canvas, 90 x 70 cm
Ofir Hirsh, 2007

“Honor your father and your mother” The 5th commandment.

I love my parents. They were always good, warm and caring. They gave me the freedom I needed to be who I am, and were always by my side, even when I was far away. Loving them back is my natural privilege.
While I lived in the Dominican Republic, I used to visit my family in Israel every year during the holidays season. During one of those visits, my mother was injured in a car accident. I obviously did everything I could, and took care of all the medical and administrative arrangements. When I brought her back home, my father told me that I behaved like Beau Geste. I saw the Series on TV when I was a kid, so I knew what he was talking about. Although I wasn’t so sure about the correlation of my mother’s event with the Beau Geste story, I did understand what my father meant to say; that I have done the right and honorable thing to do. Later, in order to switch back to a relaxation mode, I went out and purchased a few meters of canvas, oil colors and brushes, and while I spent most of my days with my family, at nights I painted as Beau Geste. I knew that my new name and my childhood’s environment will produce unique works. Beau Geste is the only series I painted in Israel between 2002 and 2012.

“Beau geste is a phrase borrowed from French; the literal translation is “beautiful gesture.” Beau Geste is also the title of a 1924 novel by Percival Christopher Wren, featuring three English brothers who join the French Foreign Legion to repair their family honor… Wren didn’t invent the phrase “beau geste,” which began to appear around the beginning of the 20th century, but the publicity surrounding the novel and subsequent films likely contributed to the expression’s popularity.” (Taken from the Merriam Webster Dictionary)