We had the good fortune of connecting with Liza Philosof and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Liza, how has your background shaped the person you are today?
I grew up in a little beach town called “Nahariya” in Israel. Both of my parents were married twice and had daughters from a previous marriage. My father was a sailor in the Israeli merchant fleet, and as a little girl, my mother and I joined him for sailing trips. We even sailed from Israel to Mexico, and then to the Bahamas Islands. The voyage took a month and a half in the oceans with stops in Italy and Spain. It was my first time seeing dolphins & dolphin calves! My father passed away from cancer when I was in first-grade. My mother had always been a very optimistic, spiritual, and independent woman. She raised me with a lot of love and affection. I was a very spiritual teen, at the age of 17 I took a Reiki course and was practicing energy work. This now continues to this day with ‘Watsu’, a water treatment therapy. The creative side developed from a young age with encouragement and support from my mom. I used to paint, make jewelry, create my own accessories, and much more. I grew up to be a free soul, who appreciates life and does not take anything for granted. I feel happy and blessed with what I have and am doing my best to see the positive side in life. With the death of my mother 7 years ago, my life has changed. The thing I realized is that we came here to make our dreams come true and that’s what I’ve been trying to do ever since …. follow my dreams.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I would love to start answering this question by talking about my practice in water therapy. for over 6 years have been studying various forms of water therapy methods. I had the honour to study with the best teacher in the world and obtain a great knowledge and intuition. The most known method is called Watsu. Watsu is performed one-on-one in a warm water pool, a typical session contains movement, positions, gentle cradling and rocking, dynamic stretching, stillness and massage. Harbin Hot Spring on Northern California, is a very special place, a place where Harold Dull created the therapy of Watsu, and where I spend many hours in the water, the story I am about to tell happened during one of Harold’s courses in Harbin. One day a member of the class came up to me and asked to have a session, I felt flattered, of course. We were in the pool and started breathing, she floated and rested on my arms. I began to float her body and quite fast I felt her being performative and less present. After a few minutes I lifted her head, and asked: “do you want to let go?” and again “do you want to let go?” and she insisted “yes!”. And then something amazing happened, her release also caused me to release. I released everything I knew about the technicality of Watsu, suddenly the sequence that I had learned and repeated again and again just disappeared, what happened was total improvisation. Moment to moment a new creation, moment by moment pure presence, a powerful sensation of one to her and me and the water. I really felt led by the water. It was the first time I freed myself fully, confident to simply create in water. I understood something significant in that session. I understood that I can connect my creativity, my art to my water therapy practice, and in reflection I was inspired and fulfilled by this new insight. I am a multidisciplinary visual artist and I see art as an extension of my emotional journey in life. one of the most known elements about my works is the colorful palette and the clean line. People respond to my work by saying that looking at my art makes them happy and optimistic, gives hope and clarity. I play and shift between different art forms & media. I find myself attracted to intuitive ways of understanding and expression, trying to create a vessel that is my best shofar at the moment. I started my creative path at a young age with a supportive atmosphere around that encouraged me and validated my artistic side. Later on I moved to Jerusalem and went to Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, a student for four years in the visual communication department. After graduation I worked in various fields of graphic design and art directing while continuing to participate in exhibitions, festivals, projects, and partnerships all over the world. Some brand collaborations included: Adidas originals, Absolut, Adobe, Airbnb, Heineken, Insight, RipCurl, XRAY, Cannes Film Festival, and Azores Fringe Festival. During the global pandemic, I began to serve as a judge for Adobe Creative Jam, design-a-thon for university and college students, create and develop a prototype using UI / UX solutions.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Covid aside – I would start close to home, on the westside by visiting the scenic Venice Beach. We’d enter into the water, merge with the ocean, and from there we would continue on a walk to the Venice Canals. For sunset we’d go to the beautiful rooftop at the Hotel Erwin and then get a drink in the Townhouse Bar. I love the drive on the Pacific coast highway. From the North to the south, we’d pass through beautiful beaches like: Playa del Rey, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa beach, and the best stop would be Redondo Beach to see the dolphins. The northern route starts from Santa Monica to Malibu. My favorite beach in Malibu is El Matador. The next day we could get lunch at Mizlala in West Adams or maybe spend the day in West Hollywood, we would start with Breakfast at Urth Caffé or an acai bowl at Backyard Bowls. From there, we would tour on Melrose and Fairfax which are quite possibly the coolest streets in LA. In Fairfax we could grab a cookie or piece of cake at Canter’s, An old school, Jewish, Deli Restaurant. From there we’d continue to The Farmers Market, at the grove. One of the coolest stores in LA, is a tiny sticker shop right in the middle of the Farmers Market. For dinner we would head to Little Ethiopia which is a short ride from The Grove. This area is packed with Delicious authentic Ethiopian food. My favorite restaurant in little Ethiopia is the Messob, my favorite dishes to eat there are the veggie combo and somoses. After exploring the west side, It would be time to adventure on over to the east side. Our journey here would begin at Echo Park Lake, which is the perfect place for a picnic setup. Echo Park Lake also gives us the opportunity for an unforgettable paddle boating experience, by the way the paddle boat is swan shaped. Great for selfies. We would continue exploring the Echo Park neighborhood with a visit to the most colorful clothing store that supports a positive body image, Big Bud Press. The shop doesn’t separate between gender, so everything is unisex and you can find an insane range of sizes between XXS to 7XL. We’d end the day with dinner at Elf, they have the best vegetarian menu in the city, an incredibly warm team and just a cozy spot. Next we’d roam on over to Silver Lake, one of the most hip and colorful neighborhoods in LA. We’d go to a Gaga dance class at the Sweat Spot, shake everything out. For dinner we’d go to The Little Pine restaurant. It’s one of the best vegan restaurants in LA, owned by the musician Moby. I’d have to take my friend to explore the art scene in LA, in the Arts District, check out Hauser + Wirth and smaller galleries like Art Share. I go often to museums and galleries, I could absorb art everyday.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would love to give a Shoutout to my mom’s best friend, Ruth. On my sixth birthday she bought me a large canvas, professional paints, and brushes as a present. Thanks to her I started to paint on a great scale with high-quality utensils. Ruth gave my artistic aspect importance and meaning, this gift remains with me to this day. I believe her present determined my future even to some extent.
Taylor Sattler & Ruben Diaz