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מרטין הולט Martin Holt

Martin Holt is an Israeli artist and cartoonist. He looks at situations that appear normal and transforms them in such a way that they become both absurd and very funny.

When you look closer into one of his pictures, different levels of meaning become apparent. His gift is to visualise the whole concept before starting drawing and to have the technique to set it down on paper.

Martin was born in London and grew up in a sheltered middle class Jewish family. But as a student of architecture at University College London in the "swinging sixties" he broke free. This background and an inquiring restless nature led to his decision to live in Israel.

He arrived in 1964 and opened an architectural office in the Old City of Jaffa. He worked hard, enjoyed site work and even won a few architectural prizes but always felt his real career lay elsewhere. He took up all kinds of fringe activities. He was a volunteer ambulance driver. He went through the restaurant trade from washer-up to waiter to chef. He played in a jazz band and sang the blues. He managed a riding school and taught himself graphics. He freelanced for IBM and was a senior lecturer at the Bezalel Academy in Jerusalem. But the artistic side of his nature was always present. He kept drawing, perfecting his technique and eventually becoming a cartoonist. His background and his own brand of Jewish humor led to his well known series of Jewish cartoons "A Rabbi in Every Home"

Still searching for fulfillment he spent a year in Paris, studied martial arts and qualified as a Shiatsu master. He went back to Israel and opened his own gallery "Shadma" in Tel-Aviv which flourished from 1987 till 2002 when the intifada and the subsequent collapse of tourism closed him down. Undaunted, he now works from his studio at home.

Martin has also worked for the Israeli press, including illustrating a series on "Sex and the Internet" for the daily paper "Ma'ariv".

Martin keeps up his other activities too. Apart from Shiatsu he is a qualified practitioner using " Tibetan Singing Bowl " treatment.

Martin Holt's work as an Israeli artist is well known internationally. He has had solo exhibitions in Paris, Marseilles, Brussels as well as in New-York, Toronto, London and Florida. 2007 promises an exhibition in South Africa.

For those looking for an out of the ordinary Israeli gift, a different sort of Jewish art, a lithoprint by Martin Holt might be just the answer.

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