Born in Paris in 1964, Esther Guenassia decided to devote herself to the arts from an early age. She spent her childhood studying music (she performed as an orchestral violinist) and paying frequent visits to the Louver Museum. From the age of ten, she became a student at Cours Martenot and began painting.
In conjunction with her studies at a college of advanced business studies (in 1987 she received a degree from the Institut Français de la Mode [French Institute of Fashion]) she continued her study of drawing and painting at the Cours Charpentier and afterwards at workshops of the Beaux Arts de Paris (Paris Academy of Fine Art).
In 1988, after apprenticeship at the Publicis Company she was approached by the Israeli textile designer, Eliakim, and the two were responsible for organizing the Man Ray exhibition at Pavillion de Bagatelle. A year later Eliakim appointed her as director of his gallery at the Bastille in Paris. Until 1991, she continued giving expression to her natural sense of color and her love of the plastic arts, creating fabric collections for Europe and Japan.
Her personal soul searching led her to research her roots. During the 90s, Esther Guenassia visited Israel a number of times and discovered Jewish mysticism. Despite receiving no religious education until this time, an enchanted world opened before her and she returned to Judaism via its path. At the same time, she launched an artistic investigation into the symbolism of Hebrew letters.
This research fascinated her and she traveled to the USA where she spent a number of years experiencing life among various movements connected to Hassidout and Kabbalah. These meetings enabled her to reveal something of significance – the existence of an alternative reality.
Esther, who came from a Parisian college of higher studies, from a world of fashion and external glitter, revealed, through her spiritual studies and work, the importance of going out to others and obliterating one’s own ego. Thus, she revealed the important, indispensable key that gave her access to an alternative perception, a perception that lies beyond our five senses. Esther draws on her transcendental experience and passes us its key through her paintings and her Hebrew lettering. For her, these holy letters possessed of symbolic content, carry the Divine secret and infinite light without which physicality is devoid of the spark of life.
Esther Guenassia’s works are displayed in private collections in France, the United States, and Israel. From 2002 onwards, she has been living and working in Jerusalem where she has permanent exhibits of her works of art and conducts art-therapy workshops that include the instruction of drawing and symbolism.