web analytics
January 27, 2015 / 7 Shevat, 5775
 
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


Home » Sections » Arts »

Fractured Epics: Joel Silverstein Paintings


Batya and Miriam (2012) Acrylic and collage on canvas by Joel Silverstein
Courtesy the artist

Batya and Miriam (2012) Acrylic and collage on canvas by Joel Silverstein Courtesy the artist

What about the figurative sublime and the hybridized impure sublime you have written about?

My work begins with the reality and experiences of my personal life. Brighton Beach Exodus started with my vision of Moses on the beach at Brighton. From my childhood, that is a view I have seen thousands of times and from the very beginning had the image of Moses slaying the Egyptian at Brighton. Everything else grew out of that. This was clearly a Torah narrative placed in the modern world, my modern world; the ruined amusement rides, toys pumped up and my friends pumped up as models in the narrative…I start out with an experience I have and then take it to a more metaphysical place.

Much of Silverstein’s work is concerned with the idea of “the sublime.” He comments: “The tradition of the sublime as articulated by Emmanuel Kant relates to feelings of awe and transcendentalism in confronting nature and creation. The subject struggles with an all too human inability to express the infinite through mere language. Think of a viewer before a thunderstorm or a vast mountain gorge.…I am evoking a figurative sublime, but one very aware of its abstract precedents. The concept of the sublime has again becomes relevant for us, if only because it presents an aesthetic way to counter the materialism and definitions of our own time. I am proposing a hybridized impure sublime using cultural representations of all sorts; things observed and imagined. Images can be drawn from life or popular culture with no one representation seen as superior, more truthful or more relevant, much like the indeterminacy of postmodern thought. A movie still of Charlton Heston’s image can represent Moses, but so can a friend from my youth, a toy, an art historical reference or my own self-portrait. My goal is the depiction of a metaphysical reality; one where the boundaries of science, materialism and contemporary culture hold sway, but just barely. A fixed iconography gives way to a fluid one, recalling the old Second Commandment battles over images and image making in all the great monotheistic religions.”

Silverstein’s work needs to be understood as the raucous collision between the deeply personal and the grandly Biblical, grafting elements with a breathtaking aesthetic abandon that is determined to change the world and how we look at it. He is a Jewish artist for our times.

About the Author: Richard McBee is a painter and writer on Jewish Art. Contact him at rmcbee@nyc.rr.com


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Fractured Epics: Joel Silverstein Paintings”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Hassnain Aliamin , one of four Muslim teenagers who attacked a Jew in Gateshead.
‘Let’s Go Jew-Bashing’ Muslims Hauled into British Court
Latest Sections Stories
Resnick-012315-Artist

Nouril concluded he had no choice: He had to become more observant.

Respler-012315

I find his mother to be a difficult person and my nature is to stay away from people like that.

Here are some recipes to make your Chag La’Illanot a festive one.

Baim-012315

Does standing under the chuppah signal the end of our dream of romance and beautiful sunsets?

We aren’t at a platform; we are underground, just sitting there.

Dr. Lowy believed passionately in higher education for both men and women and would stop at nothing to assist young students in achieving their educational goals.

It’s almost pointless to try to summarize all of the fascinating information that Holzer’s research unearthed.

The special charm of these letters is their immediacy and authenticity of emotion and description.

Why is there such a steep learning curve for teachers? And what can we, as educators and community activists, do better in the educational system and keep first-year teachers in the job?

Teachers, as well as administrators, must be actively involved in the daily prayers that transpire at a school and must set the bar as dugmaot ishiot, role models, on how one must daven.

Often both girls and boys compare their date to their parents.

We love the food, the hotels, and even the wildlife. We love the Israelis.

Few traces remain of the glory days of Jewish life in the kingdoms of Sicily and Naples, but the demise wasn’t due to the eruption of nearby Mount Vesuvius. Rather it was a manmade volcano called the Edict of Expulsion from Spain – and not even an invitation to return in Shevat of 1740 could […]

More Articles from Richard McBee
Jerusalem to Jericho Road: photograph by Chanan Getraide
“Chanan Getraide Photographs”: 2004 exhibition at Hebrew Union College Museum

“We are living in a Golden Age of Jewish Art, but don’t know it.”

McBee-062014-Outside

He refuses to flinch from our painful history, perhaps finding a kind of solace in the consistency of irrational enmity directed against us.

“Vidduy: The Musical” breaks through the formidable barrier of repetitive confession to allow us to begin to understand what is at the heart of this fundamental religious act.

A fascinating glimpse into the rich complexity of medieval Jewish life and its contemporary relevance had intriguingly emerged.

Silverstein’s work has long concerned itself with the intersection between the personal and Jewish Biblical narrative, significantly explored in this column in “Brighton Beach Bible” (July 27, 2009).

Not surprisingly the guardians of synagogue tradition is male dominated in both Moses Abraham, Cantor and Mohel and Synagogue Lamp Lighters.

Neither helpless victims nor able to escape the killer’s clutches, the leaders had to make impossible choices on a daily basis in a never-ending dance with the devil.

Bradford has opted to fully exploit the diverse possibilities of the physical surface by concentrating on the three-dimensional application of paint (impasto) and other material.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/arts/fractured-epics-joel-silverstein-paintings/2012/11/23/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: