I have a new friend 👏🏻. His name is Eitan Barokas, and he’s an artist. I was introduced to him through a mutual friend (thanks, BR), and it was one of those meetings when the energy instantly clicks. Eitan is in his early 20’s, and I love experiencing when true connection defies age. Numbers become irrelevant, and since so much of our lives demands the involvement of numbers (money, time, measurements, airplane flight info etc), it’s refreshing when anything calcuolatory goes out the window. It certainly is for this numbers impaired gal.
I wanted to meet Eitan for a few reasons. One, I’m out the gate supportive of Jewish artists of any kind, especially a young one who isn’t blindly going down the mind numbing path of, “my uncle is calling in a favor to the accounting firm to get me a job”. There is risk in art as a source of livelihood; it’s potentially inconsistent. So when a person is aware of their calling at a young age, and pursues that to honor their spirit and life’s purpose, it’s such an inspiring example to the rest of us. This is a much smarter move than squelching your passion, only to wake up decades later and freak the F out that you are wasting your heart/life. Statistically, it’s not possible that a chunk of “middle aged” people I know don’t wrestle with hidden dreams. Life is so deeply painful that way. It’s such a gift to know your truth early on.
Secondly, the philosophy behind Eitan’s work is “Keep It Moving”, which is what I propel myself towards every day. Sometimes the flow of life is easy to lean into, other times it feels brutal. Like you just can’t. It’s amazing how we can be so knocked down emotionally and mentally, to the point where even standing hurts. We collapse under the weight of so many things. It’s a battle to dig ourselves out. But there’s really no choice; the alternative to motion is stagnation. Stillness, as in yogic stillness, is different. When one is “still” they are floating towards enlightenment, despite appearing statue like. To be stagnant is to be trapped and not get out. Eitan’s underlying premise to his work is so positive; keep going. Don’t ever give up. There’s no encouraging of denial here, not pretending life is a picnic. B ut there’s so much good to be seen and felt. Notice it, cling to it, and don’t stop. It’s like in Finding Nemo when in order to rescue himself, Nemo chanted “just keep swimming” (or was it Dory🐠?).
Our minds are so powerful. Even when the body wants nothing more than to collapse, the mind can direct us to keep it moving. Eitan is a super lovely, positive soul. The bright, happy colors he uses in his work clearly reflects a guy who means what he paints. Eitan does a lot of abstract pieces, but my favorites are his people. Often wearing a shirt and tie, facial expression open to interpretation, I feel these peeps represent ennui in the stale rat race routine of life. Yet the vibrancy of the colors prove that we are surrounded by beauty at any given moment. These characters want more, and it is within their stream of consciousness. The magic of life is within their reach. Isn’t this what great artists do; inspire and encourage us? I happen to not react to a lot of art, which I’ve said before. But I strongly reacted to Eitan’s work as a result of his unshakable philosophy. Insta bond.
When I first met him at a gallery showing in downtown New York, it was like “oh, there’s my friend”. Clear, connective energy will always unite Creatives. It’s a Tribe with our own language, and I’m so grateful to be a part of it. Life feels richer. Yes, our increased sensitivity can knock the shit out of us. The breadth of feelings can be hard to take. But we keep it moving, because truthfully, there’s no other choice. Movement is something we owe ourselves, but we need the permission to give it. We do not learn to honor ourselves that way. Any form of self care is seen as selfish. Through his art, the artist not only conveys it is your right, but your responsibility as a human. Because when we move we learn, and we reach new heights of living and understanding, which can in turn give back to our fellow man. We are all a collective. Let’s move together.
I truly suggest looking up Eitan on Instagram @eitan.don These bursts of social media inspiration often get us through the day. They connect us to a whole other human who has insight we need. Eitan loves to inspire; take him up on it. Part 2 of this post soon to come, detailing a Blaga field trip to the art studio. Being in the epicenter of someone’s creativity is such a treat. I get to breathe in pure emotion, then exhale it to y’all. Or as Eitan himself says, “ the Squad”.