An ongoing project since 2004, Roses is a visualization of love. It’s an iconographic system that represents a person’s romantic life as a diagram, shaped like a rose bush. Each element of the diagram symbolizes a specific event in one’s romantic relationships, as well as future hopes and dreams. Inspired by Medieval Christian art, the diagram is then fabricated as a stained glass window.
Two Roses, permanent display at Ha'aretz building, Tel Aviv. Two stained glass windows, 3x4.2' each, 2017
Throughout art history, roses have always been referred to as the symbol of divine love. In contrast, Michaeli’s Roses represents contemporary love of everyday people, not saints or martyrs. The rose-shaped diagram is created in a bureaucratic process that resembles dating sites. By elevating common people to stained-glass-worthy figures, the project democratizes this traditional technique that is usually being used to portray saints and aristocrats.
Love, an intimate and subjective thing is measured and presented as a statistical study, classified in a botanical glossary.
Rose 001 (Self Portrait), permanent display at Ha'aretz building, Tel Aviv, Israel, 2012
Rose 001 was the first rose stained-glass window that was created according to Michaeli's filled questionnaire. It reflects the romantic life of the artist.
Rose 001 (Self Portrait), Stained glass window, 2x4.4', 2011
A rose window can present a lifetime of romantic experience and help visualize one’s pattern of love. Each element of the diagram symbolizes a specific event in one’s romantic relationships, as well as future hopes and dreams.
Details from Rose 001 (Self Portrait)
The making of a rose diagram begins with a multiple-choice questionnaire about romantic relationships. The questions relate to one's romantic history, as well as childhood, parents' relationship, and their ideal lover. Each answer or a combination of answers is converted into a specific graphic symbol and so, a unique pattern emerges.
Roses Legend is a set of instructions on how to read what might look like, at first glance, as mere decoration. It explains the meaning of each element, based on its color, shape, and location. The diagram can also be read intuitively: a short relationship, for example, will be marked by a bud while a long one by a flower.
Rose Forms (preparatory drawings) | Watercolor and rapidograph on cotton paper with Inkjet printing, 11.5 x 16.5", 2010
A series of drawings were created for a group of people who submitted their answers to the questionnaire.