From Israel to the United States: The Art of Neri Avraham

Debra Hosseini

Neri Avraham expressed his emotions through his watercolor paintings when he was only five years old. The youngest of two children, Neri was always a sensitive child, with close bonds to his elder brother and family. When he was eleven, his family struggled with a lack of acceptance emigrating to the United States from Israel in search of a better life for Neri.

Neri self portrait
Neri self portrait

The move was advantageous. Neri is now attending the Massachusetts College of Art. His art is influenced greatly by the numerous trips his family has taken to Israel. At this point in his life he has spent equal amounts of time in Maccabim, Israel (his hometown) and Newton, Massachusetts.

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The Art of Autism is proud to showcase Neri Avraham’s art.

Neri says this about his art (translated from Hebrew).

Translated from Hebrew

“The first strokes of brush on the canvas or first lines on the drawing paper are like the first chords in music- nothing yet is known. Sometimes nothing works. Those days I put away the paint and clean my palette. Sometimes out of nowhere a wave of creativity suddenly arrives. The distractions of the busy world are no longer important. I live through the process of creating the picture, one brush stroke after another. The composition takes form and emerges from the canvas.

I’m interested in playing with colors to see what happens. Painting with acrylics is very different. I usually start with an idea that evolves into compositions in which color is the primary focus. I like to create with acrylics infinite images of flowers, buildings, water, and cities. I translate the colors of nature and express my wonder of the world around me, where nature meets man.


Painting allows me to become comfortable with uncertainty and the unpredictability of what sometimes can be a confusing and chaotic world. It helps my mind be quiet. My obsessive-compulsive disorder has allowed me to develop a very personal technique when creating artwork. By recycling and incorporating small pieces of dried paint from my palette onto the canvas, I add texture and dimension to my art. This creates a 3D effect. I can feel the texture as I paint.

At a young age, I created with watercolors. The changing light throughout the day was the foundation of my painting. The country of Israel is my primary subject. I love to paint memories from my old village.


I take pride in my art and am always interested in exploring new mediums and learning new techniques. I want my voice to be heard beyond my autism diagnosis. I want to share my love for nature and art and invite people to join me and enjoy this journey.”

Recently Neri completed some musical compositions for the Art of Autism event at Mr. Musichead in Hollywood. Both of his pieces sold.


Neri presented Temple Grandin’s mom Eustacia Cutler this painting last year of his homeland.


Neri participates in the Asperger’s Association of New England. His art is on display from June 21 – July 29, 2013 at Hebrew Senior Life in Boston.

Neri is also a poet. You can read his poetry here.

Neri has participated in The Art of Autism exhibits in California and Massachusetts. He is part of the book “The Art of Autism: Shifting Perceptions.”

Neri at the Curious Cup in Carpinteria, CA
Neri at the Curious Cup in Carpinteria, CA
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