Lovka made ‘aliyah’ (immigrated) from Riga to Israel at the age of seven. He began taking pictures at the age of 16, and after completing his studies in Israel and in London in 1991, he opened a photography studio. After many years of working as a photographer, mainly of people and events, Lovka decided to give himself over to another love of his, his love of collecting and organizing artifacts into ready-made artworks (art assembled out of existing objects).
“I got into ready-made art in an organic way. I always collected objects that I fell in love with on the street or on trips with my children”, he says, “old telephones, nice cans, interesting wooden planks, abandoned signs, which I would arrange into compositions, similar to my photography compositions in terms of symmetry. I also incorporated them into my photographs. At a certain point, I wanted to bring these artifacts from the margins to the front, to make them the center of my work”.
His love of artifacts is apparent in all of his works, from the stage of their meticulous collection, to the delicate arrangement of these daily objects from his natural environment into art works. Lovka collects these items on building sites, while wandering the streets, during trips, and as presents from people who are familiar with his work. These artifacts gain new meaning beyond their original purpose and are combined into Lovka’s compositions according to their material, color and shape.
“There is a special aesthetic created by arranging random objects like a puzzle. When you don’t have a plan and you let the objects surprise you, the final result seems as though it was meant to look just that way from the very beginning, and it has a truth to it”.
The items method of arrangement creates a new whole with its own aesthetic. Israeliness and Jewish culture are also central to Lovka’s work, as are numbers. The graffiti “Am Israel Chai” (“the people of Israel live”) and the David Star symbol are reiterated and create a frame for the arrangement of the recycled items. The numbers appearing in his works also bear meaning, as does the number of items comprising the composition. For example, the number 66, appearing in the work titled “Ready-made 66”, is Lovka’s year of birth, while his work titled “12 tribes” features a David Star built out of 12 triangles leaning over each other, symbolizing the 12 tribes of Israel, which together comprise the people of Israel.
Our consumerist society uses materials to create objects for use in all spheres of life. Many items are created for short term use, after which they are turned into waste. In his works, Lovka criticizes the loss of connection to nature and the way in which we rid ourselves so easily of objects which were part of our lives, and are now cast away forever in the race forward, towards the next trend. Interesting artifacts that are now “obsolete” and which concluded their original purpose are collected by Lovka and are given a new life. “I rescue them from the bin and put them into an aesthetic nature reserve”.
The daily artifacts accumulated in Lovka’s close environment are turned into periodical documents, representing his current time and place. The rescued items testify to a society of wealth, of manufacture and destruction, and to the characteristics of the age in which we are living. For example, cassettes, tapes and CD’s that enriched our lives with music and film are now denied of real value in our digital world.
Lovka expanded photography’s two-dimensional world into a three dimensional one. He photographed for years until he felt that he could intensify the captured experience using collected items from the location.
The project of building sukkot in various locations is much beloved and repeated by Lovka.
The Jewish religion commands its followers to build a sukkah under the sky by collecting materials from the environment and by decorating it, with the purpose of staying in the Sukkah and inviting guests. In fact, building a sukkah incorporates the main elements of Lovka’s work; collection, arrangement and decoration with the purpose of creating something new, in this case a physical meeting place for people, out of connection to and love of the artifacts themselves and of nature.