Muchachas y Flamboyan.
Oil on canvas, 150 H x 100 W cm / 59.1 H x 39.4 W in
Created by Ofir Hirsh, under the Dominicano identity in 2009

I was born in Israel and will always be Israeli, however, at some point in 2009 I felt completely Dominican. After 7 years of living in the Dominican Republic: speaking Dominican Spanish, eating Platanos and Mondongo, drinking Brugal and Presidente, dancing Merengue, Bachata and Reggaeton, exploring each and every corner of this amazing country, and working very closely with Dominican children, I felt that I’m qualified and entitled for the title “Dominicano”. I was obviously in love with the Dominican Republic and I felt I must declare it, and what can be more glorifying and pleasing than naming myself Dominicano!
There are nuances in every culture that only insiders comprehend. There is a magical beauty which can only be seen by those who have absorbed it long enough. Muchachas y Flamboyan was conceived after a very long and thorough observation. The magnificent settings of the beach of Las-Terrenas, my home, with the ocean and the Coconut trees in the background, where I spent infinite and unforgettable days and nights; walking, swimming, fishing, dancing and loving. The “Flamboyan time”; the blossom season of the Flamboyant tree (“Flame tree” Delonix Regia).
The giant colorful canopies and the massive amount of petals that cover the ground below the trees. The unique red-orange color of the flowers that can only be captured in live, which fills the air with a burning, but naive kind of passion.
The center of the work is dedicated to “Las Muchachas”, Dominican Spanish for girls. Each of them represent a different age group, emphasizing what I perceive as a rather rapid transition between the groups. The braided girl on the left, still allowed to dress and play like a “Tom Boy”. The teenager, who already pretends to be a woman and is also expected by society to express her femininity. The young woman, who is already expected to be a mother, and on the right side, the young “Abuela”, the grandmother who is probably under 40.
Although I’m currently far away from the Dominican Republic, a part of me will always be Dominican. The life I lived in the D.R. made me realize the kind of life style I want to have, one step back from modern life, surrounded by nature, simplicity, and welcoming faces.