A self portrait, by Oro Solo
Oil on canvas, 150 x 100 cm
Ofir Hirsh, 2007

“So…your girlfriend dumped you?” (“Tu novia te boto?) Everybody in Las-Terrenas kept asking me the same question for a very long time, not even hiding their teasing tone, or caring about my explanations that she was urgently called back to Israel to take care of personal family issues, and that she’ll be back…one day. Nobody in Las-Terrenas knew me as Ofir, I was always just Oro for them, and now alone, I became Oro Solo. For quite an extended period, of roughly 2 years, I mostly lived by myself. Although we did not officially break up, my girlfriend did come back and forth, and I visited her in Israel, I can definitely say that I experienced a long and profound solitude. Nobody wants to be alone, and if you ask me, I will always answer that I love living my life with my amazing girlfriend, my true love. Hugging kissing and sleeping with her, my dreams come true every night and day, and even rough times are illuminated by our romantic glare. So no, I did not choose to be alone. But, that specific time of solitude tremendously influenced my work. After so many years of togetherness, being alone was quite challenging, and obviously, I did experience loneliness and sadness, but the upside was wild, pure and exhilarating. Spirituality and freedom are nice words, but are not enough to describe what I went through. I became obsessed with the process, with my life-art relationship, the mechanism of living adventurously by myself in the nature, and then creating while I’m still high; wet and salted from the ocean or sweating from that trek in the jungle. I was transforming my physical and spiritual adventures into material works of art. Those works, that were then seen only by me, surrounded me and influenced my life. New adventures were followed by new creations. I felt that I am inventing my reality every day, and that my life and art became one. My girlfriend was far away, but I was definitely not alone anymore. I was living and sleeping and perhaps even making love with my art.