Ivan Schwebel (1932-2011) was born in West Virginia, USA to an Orthodox Jewish family. He grew up in Georgia and then in the Bronx in New York, where his parents separated as a child and Schwebel worked in odd jobs and studied theater; during the Korean War he served in the American army and was stationed in Japan where he began to paint as an autodidact.after his release from the army he studied art history in New York, and from 1961-1962 embarked on a journey in Europe.
In 1963 he immigrated to Israel and settled in an abandoned stone house in Ein Karem, Jerusalem. In 1977 he inaugurated four large wall paintings on the exterior wall of the Mann Auditorium in Tel Aviv-Jaffa. He also created additional walls in various places in Israel. In the mid-1980's he rented a studio in Tel Aviv and created a series of paintings that shed the descriptions of the city.
Schwebel's work combined moderate expressionism with influences from American pop art. In the 1970's he created paintings dealing with his character as an artist. Schwebel's paintings from the 1980's show descriptions of urban landscape in which he combined characters from Bible stories, myths and Hollywood heroes.