Irina and Raz Rapaport were born in Romania. They moved to Israel after graduation from the Bucharest Institute of Architecture.
They lived and practiced architecture in Israel for 9 years before emigrating to Canada in 1990. They have always enjoyed designing and creating works of art, so in 1992 they started their own craft and design company.
Today, Irina and
Raz design and create their original stand-up puzzle sculptures at their studio
and home in Toronto, CanadaThe Rapaports call their company "Woodenzoo",
a pun on the first jungle animals they made in wood. Since then, after much
experimenting with their initial concept, they've been making puzzle sculptures
on a variety of subjects, mainly puzzles with a sophisticated flair, for adults.
From carousel horses to medieval fools and jesters, from musicians to pink
flamingoes, from Picassoesque nudes to dancing couples, the classic and the
comic blend in each creation.
Both trained in architecture, Irina and Raz are self taught wood sculptors. A mixture of east European art education and Jewish/Israeli humour, the husband and wife team collaborate on each piece they produce, Irina doing the design and painting and Raz the building. The common concept of the "jigsaw puzzle" challenged them to bring a fresh ingenious presence and a new touch of humour to an old North American craft.
Their giant puzzles are freestanding sculptures, unusual fun and fantasy pieces. All of their work is one of a kind with some pieces being more substantial and sizable, for interior decorating purposes.
Their whimsical designs and bold use of color, combined with a playful imagination have led to the creation of works that are unique, unexpected pieces of art.
There is nothing like it created in North America today.
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All images and design Copyright © 2002-2009 by Irina & Raz Rapaport. All rights reserved. Re-use or reproduction prohibited