The Role of Artistic Creativity in the Lives of Israeli Emigres in Los Angeles

Malka Nedivi

A Glimpse into Malka Nedivi's History and Art

by Masha Gerami and Rachel Elyaszadeh

Malka Nedivi
Malka Nedivi is an Israeli artist, sculptor, and film director who was born in Rehovot, Israel in 1952 and moved to Los Angeles in 1980. Working in Los Angeles since her immigration, Malka has an extensive collection of meaningful artwork. Malka’s life, along with her artwork, has been predominantly influenced by her Israeli culture as well as her parents’ life story as Holocaust survivors. After the war, her parents got married and moved to Israel from Poland. Malka’s mother, who battled with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, gradually became a hoarder, and as a young adult, Malka had a difficult time living with her. Thus, she decided to move to America to escape her mother. 

However, once she moved to America, Malka, for the first time, experienced what it felt like to be an immigrant. Just like her mother, she felt as though she was different from everyone else around her. A few years later, Malka received a phone call from her mother in Israel and realized that her mother’s situation was deteriorating. Thus, she decided to return to Israel for five years to care for her mother. While in Israel, Malka recorded a documentary film called Tzipora's Nest about her mother's journey and life.  

After her death, her mother became a powerful inspiration and influence behind Malka's artwork. Malka believes that her mother accompanies her during her work and that a piece of her mother is present in each piece of art. The influence of her mother in her art can be seen through the material and the colors that Malka uses. For example, she collects discarded materials and pieces of her mother’s collection of dispensed objects, such as old pieces of clothes, blankets, wood, and cardboards, and uses them in her artwork. Malka even uses bright colors, such as red, yellow, green, orange, and blue, in her artwork and sculptures, even though, as a child, she often disliked and was embarrassed by her mother’s taste in the same bright colors. 

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