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Transcend the Visible

(Photo: flickr/zeevveez)

Yaacov Agam

Age: 90

Known for: A sculptor from Israel, he is the highest-selling Israeli artist.

About him: Born in British-mandate Palestine, Yaacov Agam grew up the son of a rabbi. He studied at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem, before establishing himself as a pioneer in the kinetic art movement. Agam's artistic credo, which he wrote in 1964 and has remained unchanged in the half-century since, says:

"My intention was to create a work of art which would transcend the visible, which cannot be perceived except in stages, with the understanding that it is a partial revelation and not the perpetuation of the existing. My aim is to show what can be seen within the limits of possibility which exists in the midst of coming into being."

Agam's work is often abstract, also involving movement, audience participation, and the use of light and sound. Many of his works are public, including the "Fire and Water Fountain" in Tel Aviv, the "Star of The Knesset" (seen above) in Jerusalem), and the annual Hanukkah Menorah in New York City that is 32-feet-high, weighs 4,000 pounds, and is recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest in the world. It is used every year, using real oil lamps to light the city for the Festival of Lights.

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