Just look at the expression on Yonah's face. It combines fear and incomprehension at his terrible punishment of floating in the belly of the great fish. So too Noah peering out of the ark, perched on the edge of understanding that there might be a future for mankind. Both works point to the genius of Leonard Everett Fisher as an artist and interpreter of biblical narrative.
Permission to Use Hebrew Letters, Healing the World, and the Pull of Judaism
Growing up, I used to enjoy reading S. Weissman's Little Midrash Says (published 1986) and carefully studying Siegmund Forst's illustrations of the weekly Torah portion. At the time, I had no idea how many of Forst's drawings were derived from earlier traditions of biblical illustration (many of them Christian), but I was particularly struck by the moral readability of the narratives. It was always a cinch to figure out who was a good character and who was evil; you could read it on their faces. The heroes were always smiling widely and the villains looked ugly and angry at the world.
Holocaust art has dominated the news lately for all the wrong reasons.
ense, along with the voluminous Oral Tradition in the Talmud, its commentaries and elaborations, make the Jewish artist the richest creative person imaginable.
Remember. The commandment to remember reverberates throughout the Torah, starting with the Exodus from Egypt, continuing to Receiving the Torah and finally climaxing in the weekly remembrance of the Sabbath itself. Embedded in the six remembrances is the commandment to, "remember what Amalek did to you on the way" (Devarim 25:17).
The whole idea of an artful pushka (tzeddakah or charity box) is almost a tease, if not an outright mockery. Isn’t there something pretty backward about investing time and money in an ornate container to hold alms for the poor?
Every year in the early winter the world-renowned auction house, Sotheby's, presents an auction of Israeli and International (Jewish) Art and Judaica. It is always a delight and Sunday, December 12 was no exception. Since it is an international affair, the foremost experts assemble the finest artworks available. The efforts of specialists Rivka Saker, Sigal Mordechai, Daria Gluck, Esta Kilstein and Jennifer Roth of Sotheby's Israel and Jennifer Roth, Sharon Liberman Mintz, David Wachtel, Elizabeth Muller, John Ward, Jill Waddell, Kevin Tierney here in New York were well rewarded. It was a truly exciting exhibition that frequently surprised one with new insights into many familiar artists.
What role can a documentary film assume when facts cannot be agreed upon and truth is spelled with a lower case "t"?
Who are you? Who am I? Questions of cultural identity among artists have raged from the early twentieth century to yesterday's memoir.
Artists have a way of calling attention to the things we really need to see.
Samuel Beckett's "Waiting for Godot" explores tragically unrequited anticipation.
Siona Benjamin's exhibition "Finding Home: The Art of Siona Benjamin" is simply beautiful. Set in the spacious lobby gallery of the JCC Manhattan, it allows for a peaceful (when the kids, nannies and crowds subside) contemplation of this complex artist's meditations on biblical women, war, exoticism and contemporary society.
Although Passover is no longer around the corner (11 months and counting until next year's cleaning craze), Had Gadya remains a timeless song of Jewish persecution and triumph over generation after generation of anti-Semitism.
Perhaps far more important than the question of "why paint tragedy?" is the question of how to paint it.
The ancient Greek poets wrote myths about the Fates - the three daughters of Nyx, the powerful goddess Night. They are also called the Moerae sisters.
Imagining the tempting aroma of pecan pie and fresh challah, the age-old rhythms of Southern Jewry unfold before our eyes in the seductively handsome exhibition of photographs, Shalom Y'all, currently at the Jewish Museum of Florida in Miami Beach.
Howard Salmon first celebrated his bar mitzvah as a 44-year-old. He and six others attended a class at Temple Emanu-El in Tucson, Arizona, and each one prepared one aliyah of the Torah reading.
At first glance, the chassid in Ahron Weiner's "In Memorial" looks like he may be wearing an earring on his right ear, which is framed by his dark brown side curl. Further inspection reveals the ear is in silhouette, and the "earring" is indeed white light cast by one of the many memorial candles he contemplates - tributes to the tens of thousands of Jews of Uman murdered in the 18th century and nearly two centuries later by the Nazis.
The rather large grasshoppers all have different human faces. The trees have human bodies with branches sprouting out of their heads. The animals in the Peaceable Kingdom garden seated at Isaiah’s feet are painted purple, pink, blue and red. Welcome to the visionary world of Nahum HaLevi’s Latter Prophets.
He refuses to flinch from our painful history, perhaps finding a kind of solace in the consistency of irrational enmity directed against us.
The road one chooses in Art, much like life, does not necessarily determine the final destination.
Whether it is the disastrous report of the 12 spies or the furious condemnation that doomed an entire generation to die in the wilderness, the Torah narrative in Bamidbar turns terribly grim after the glorious inauguration of the Mishkan in the second year after leaving Egypt. With this in mind, just imagine my surprise at an encounter with two artists who address these (and other Biblical) themes right around the corner.
"When my husband sells a painting, he gets down on his knees and thanks G-d," Kristina told me of her husband, Jules Olitski, at an opening of his work in Washington, D.C.
Jewish Art is a grass-roots movement whose time has come. It has evolved precisely because there are those who are moved by their Jewish heritage and wish to share this experience with the art world, the general public and the Jewish community. There has never been such an exciting time.
Elie Wiesel encapsulates the problem of Holocaust art by insisting that, "Auschwitz defies imagination and perception; it submits only to memory. It can be communicated by testimony, not fiction."
The documentary, which includes simple re-enactments with actors, will make you cry and will make you angry.
Today is the 407th anniversary of the birth of Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn. Google is celebrating it with a Goodle Doodle of the Dutch artist's 1659 oil on canvas self portrait.
In one of the most complex and controversial of biblical narratives, the book of 2 Samuel recounts an almost operatic moment in which Uriah the Hittite, husband of Batsheva, was instructed by King David to unknowingly carry his own death sentence to the Jewish general Yoav (Joab). Had Uriah betrayed his king's confidence and opened the letter, he could have surely have escaped death.
As I sit to write this article less than a week before my wedding, my mind keeps returning to a particular work, which one must grapple with if one intends to take the history of Jewish art seriously.