Zvi Malnovitzer (Hebrew: צבי מלנוביצר, born 1945) is a Jewish expressionist painter born to a Haredi, or ultra-Orthodox, religious family in Bnei Brak, Israel. His upbringing in a society isolated from the modern world, where he was dedicated to intensive and uninterrupted Talmudic study from a young age, makes his decision to become an artist unusual, bold, and one of accomplishment. During his training in Reichenau, Austria, where he studied under the auspices of artist Wolfgang Manner and under the direction of Ernst Fuchs (renowned exponent of “Fantastic Realism,” a 20th-century group of artists in Vienna combining techniques of the Old Masters with religious and esoteric symbolism), Malnvotizer developed a unique style portraying themes that straddle the religious and secular worlds.
While Malnovitzer’s work is inspired by the prolific portraits of Rembrandt van Rijn (1606–1669) and the Romanticism of Francisco de Goya (1746–1828), his style is unique in that it combines European Expressionism with traditional and religious themes. The way he paints is reflective of the way he lives his life – by embracing modern ideas while continuing to preserve his religious traditions. The subjects in his paintings are diverse, ranging from rabbis, toHolocaust survivors, to patrons at coffee shops. The one characteristic that all his works share is that his subjects’ faces, especially their eyes, speak volumes about their life story. The humanity and the universality of his art has made him known throughout the world – in Tel Aviv, Tokyo, Paris, New York City, Los Angeles, London, Amsterdam, Sydney, Berlin, and many other cities where his paintings have appeared in auctions, at galleries, and in exhibitions.