Jonathan Kis-Lev

Artist Biography


Jonathan Kis-Lev was born in 1985 to Russian Jewish immigrant parents and spent his childhood years in a small village on the outskirts of Jerusalem. As a young boy Kis-Lev demonstrated great talent for drawing and painting, and at the age of five he began private lessons in watercolors and oils tutored by a Russian painter.

As a teenager, Kis-Lev continued his art studies at Thelma Yellin High School of the Arts. At the age of sixteen, Kis-Lev was granted a full scholarship to study visual arts at Pearson College of the Pacific in British Columbia, Canada. There he had studied painting, sculpture, etching and prints for two years under the instruction of Art Brendon.

Upon completing his studies at Pearson College, Kis-Lev returned to Israel to join the Israel Defense Force. During his military service Kis-Lev continued to develop his technique and personal style. While still in the army Kis-Lev held his first exhibition in the Tel Aviv Trade Tower throughout February 2007. In the following years Kis-Lev presented in numerous group exhibitions in Israel, including the Zavta theatre, Apart.Art Gallery, Art And Soul Gallery, Sarah’s Tent Gallery, Joi Gallery and others.


Kis-Lev’s technique involves painting on a canvas painted in black oil as a base layer. “It enables me to achieve a high contrast between the oil colors”, he explains.  Most of his paintings are painted, much like Marc Chagall, up-side-down: “thanks to this technique I achieve a naïve look, and the objects are somewhat warped, which gives the painting a unique attitude”.

Kis-Lev’s colorful and bright paintings are meant to bring happiness to the world. “My goal is to bring happiness, joy, excitement and love to the viewers of my art. Though kitschy, that’s where I get my drive from”. Kis-Lev’s inspirations include Israeli artists Reuven Rubin and Nahum Gutman, as well as internationally acclaimed artists as Vincent Van Gogh, Henri Matisse and the fauvists. As of 2010 Kis-Lev’s studio is located in Jerusalem.

Jonathan Kis-Lev

Artist Resume


2006-2010       Bachelor of Arts and  Humanities
Open University, Ra’anana, Israel

2002-2004       International Baccalaureate Diploma
Lester B. Pearson United World College of the Pacific, British Columbia, Canada.

Higher Level in Visual Arts.

1999-2002       Thelma Yellin High School of the Arts, Givatayim, Israel
Honors and Awards

2008      President Prize for Excellence, Open University, Ra’anana, Israel

2007      Dean Prize for Excellence, Open University, Ra’anana, Israel

2002-2004       Charles Bronfman Scholarship, Lester B. Pearson United World College of the Pacific, British Columbia, Canada


2009      Secret Exhibition Catalogue, Esti Drori and Doron Polak,
National Bank Leumi, Israel

2009      Artist Vision, Shiran Shafir, Shorashim Art Gallery, Tel Aviv, Israel

2009      Home Catalogue, Rotem Ritov, Apart.Art Gallery, Tel Aviv, Israel

2009      Radio interview, Nahon Lehaboker, Galey Zahal, Israel

2008      Radio interview, Kol Rishonim Radio, Israel

2008      “Just Now”, LaIsha Magazine, Israel

2008      “Erets-Ir”, Yediot Aharonot Newspaper. Israel

Group Exhibitions

2009      B-Sides – Curator: Inbal Drue
Tel Aviv Culture Conference, Zavta, Tel Aviv, Israel

2009      Home – Curator: Rotem Ritov
Apart Art Gallery, Tel Aviv, Israel

2009      Secret Exhibition– Curators: Esti Drori and Doron Polak
National Bank Leumi, Tel Aviv, Israel


Jonathan Kis-Lev

Artist Resume- Continued 

Solo Exhibitions

2009      Jonathan Kis-Lev – Curator: Shiran Shafir
Shorashim Art Gallery, Tel Aviv, Israel

2007      Beginnings: Neve Zedek and Jaffa
Trade Tower, Tel Aviv, Israel

2004      The Adventures of the Awoken Island – Curator: Art Brendon
Pearson College, BC, Canada

Selected Collections 

Selected Private Collections
Shimshon Adler, Holon, Israel
Irma Blumenfeld, Tel Aviv, Israel
Reed and Jean Holmes, Jonesport, MA, USA
Jacob B. Kowarsky, Vancouver, Canada
Avishay Levin, Ganey Tikva, Israel
Andrew and Hilary Levy, London, United Kingdom
Gwen Orel, New York, NY, USA
Paul and Sara Sagiv, Kfar Saba, Israel
Rafael and Lily Seligmann, Berlin, Germany
Charles Sitkin, Seattle, WA, USA
Howard and Marilyn  Weltman, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Sasha Wien, Herts, United Kingdom
Joe and Aviva Wilder, Spring Valley, NY, USA
Howard and Tova Wiser, New York, NY, USA
David Wolf, Vancouver, WA, USA

 Corporate Collections
MM~Law LLC Offices, Tel Aviv, Israel
National Bank Leumi, Tel Aviv, Israel
Permanent Public Collections
Tel Aviv Municipality,  Tel Aviv, Israel
Professional Affiliations

2010      Member of the Professional Visual Artists Association, Israel

2009-2010       Board Member – Esperanto League of Israel

2007-2010       Board Member – Keshet HaShalom NGO

2007-2009       Manager and Curator– Maine Friendship House
Museum and Heritage Center, Tel Aviv. Israel

2007-2009       Member of the Academy for the Theatre Prize, Israel

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