Born in Brazil and raised in Israel, Michael Shelef's affinity for creating art is informed by his exposure to different cultures. His work is inspired by a few key Renaissance artists, but largely, by his interest in Japanese woodblock prints, Chinese scroll paintings, and modern Japanese anime. Utilizing anime and manga culture as his muse, Shelef crafts work that tells stories involving figurines, animals, and imaginary figures engaging with themselves, each other, and the universe, to reach higher goals and surmount obstacles.
Having studied graphic design, engineering, and design at Habetzefer in Tel Aviv and Shankar College of Engineering and Design in Ramat Gan, Shelef's ideas behind his intricate drawings and paintings focus on universal life experiences, the inevitable grand fears we face in life, and the exciting, yet unknown, future to which we can look for hope. “My work is driven by my emotions and imagination,” says Shelef. His work has been seen in several group exhibitions around Israel.