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Yarden was born in March 1996 in Jerusalem. At age two, he was diagnosed to be on the autistic spectrum, and later with high-functioning Asperger Syndrome. Yarden did not speak until a relatively late age. He was also delayed in drawing. He skipped the scribbling and doodling stage characteristic of toddlers’ experimentation in drawing and painting. At age four, Yarden drew for the first time. It was a highly perceptive and unequivocal drawing of a family. From then on, he drew constantly. When the teachers at the special education kindergarten he attended needed a sign or poster, Yarden was up for the task. In time, his techniques became more sophisticated. He taught himself animation software programs, sculpted in different materials and applied various techniques in his work.

Yarden learnt how to speak, read and write, and when he entered the fifth grade, he transferred from a special education elementary school to the Democratic School in Kiryat Ono where he completed his studies. Yarden’s time there was very significant because it was there that he was first appreciated as an artist, not only by members of his family, but by the teachers, children and parents who made up the school’s intimate, family-like community.

Over the years, Yarden was exposed to the rich world of art and artists. He visited museums and galleries, attended classes and activities, and met with professional artists who devoted their time to him. After graduating, Yarden volunteered for a year of National Service at the Israeli Cartoon Museum in Holon during which he created educational workbooks, and produced devices and fixtures used for exhibitions, workshops and guided tours.

In October 2015, Yarden moved to Sderot where he began his studies in the Department of Cultural Studies, Creativity and Production at Sapir Academic College.

In February 2016, Yarden took his own life. He was an extremely intense artist. He worked, created, researched and studied constantly. The work in this book constitutes a modicum of his extraordinarily rich and diverse oeuvre.

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