The self confidence of the Squirrel fish, By Oro Pez
Oil on Canvas, 60 x 50 cm
Ofir Hirsh, 2008

In our dreams and fantasies we can be and do anything we want; Fly like an Eagle, Swim like a Dolphin etc. But in reality, we are limited by our physical capabilities, so we take comfort in our limitless imagination.
Influenced by my fantasies, a decade ago I began practicing free diving on a daily basis, and I became the closest I could to being a fish. I actually spent so many hours free diving and spear fishing, that I sometimes felt more comfortable and natural inside the water than outside of it. I have always dived alone, dancing in the water like a 19 years old ballerina. I loved the depths and I loved stopping my breath. I learned to identify all the fish species in my neighborhood; their patterns and characters, how to chase them down, which fish has the best flavor, and which has too many bones. I tried to study the structure behind their movement, and I was struck by their clever use of colors for camouflage and theatrical costume design. I knew all the corals colonies in the reef, the caves, and entrance/exit points of the lagoon. Hours after being out of the water, I would still see mostly fish around me; all over the house walls, on the computer screen, and when I woke up in the middle of the night from a fishy dream, the entire mosquito net was covered with swimming fish. I would say that 7 paintings out of 10, during that period, somehow resembled sea creatures or underwater landscapes. Oro, my principal identity in Las-Terrenas, gained a few additional titles, which represented my fishy obsession in those years: Oro Pez – the Fish, Oro Mero – the Grouper (one of my favorites and a very delicious fish) and Oro Pescador – the Fisherman.
I would have liked to express my gratitude to the ocean, to the fish and the corals, for those infinite hours of pure pleasure and for occupying a significant part of my subconscious. I still think that the underwater universe is much more fascinating and entertaining than the one above the water. For those of you who love drinking their beer in a beach chair, watching the big blue from the shore, I warmly recommend: Grab the simplest snorkeling gear and GET WET! A whole new world is waiting for you.