“NOAH” director Darren Aronofsky is launching an art exhibition in conjunction with his upcoming Biblical epic movie starring Russell Crowe, Page Six has learned. The director will curate “Fountains of the Deep: Visions of Noah and the Flood,” featuring never-before-seen works by more than 50 contemporary artists as well as comic book and street artists.
By Eitan Buganim | Haaretz
What effect has the resurgent spirit of Judaism and Jewish studies being offered by pluralistic organizations in Israel had on the art scene in this country? That is the question at the heart of a new group exhibition, titled “Secular Judaism: The Impact of Jewish Renewal Organizations on Secular Israeli Culture,” at the Nahum Gutman Museum of Art in Tel Aviv.
Applications are now open for Figment Festival, June 8, NYC
Art Kibbutz is bringing Jewish art that creates community to Governor’s Island, one of NYC’s hottest art spots and one of the most creative fun events of the summer to FIGMENT festival. It’s a free, annual celebration of participatory art and culture where everything is possible. For one weekend each summer, it transforms Governor’s Island into a large-scale collaborative artwork. By 2013, FIGMENT had grown to a 2-day event, in which over 40,000 participants came to interact and engage with over 400 participatory arts projects.On June 8th, Art Kibbutz will bring resident artists to produce communal Jewish art projects. Apply now
Samurai Jew was created by Nadav Nachmany, an animator and filmmaker from Jerusalem who holds his degree from Bezalel art academy in Jerusalem. Nachmany graduated from Betzalel six years ago and became interested in Judaism around that time.
His learning effected his work, believing that Judaism has many tools that can, “bring people meaning, happiness and ways to become better people” says Nachmany. “My dream is to bring these messages into my film, to effect people around the world, and make them see the world and their life in a different way. I think animation is probably the best way to convey messages, it allows people to connect easier. I think that you don’t see much Jewish content in film and in animation, and when it’s done it usually looks cheap, so my dream is really to make high quality productions with important massages and deep content to the Jewish world.”
Samurai Jew started with a pilot video just over a year ago, and has since won contests and screened at festivals.
One of my goals in this Samurai Jew project was to create a parody of pop culture, anime films and also the Jewish culture and to mix it to a weird and funny result.
Now Nadav is soliciting donations to produce the next episode, Samurai Jew: The Fourth Cup.
Honoring the passing of filmmaker Harold Ramis, one of the most talented comedic actors, directors and screenwriters of the last thirty-years, we present this clip on the metaphor of the film Ground Hog Day, a must watch for those of us making spiritually tinged art, especially as Jews.
The terrorist attack in 2008 on the Chabad House in Mumbai, the Jewish educational center and synagogue, transformed Siona Benjamin’s art and life in major ways. She was born in Mumbai, a member of the Jewish Bene Israel group that settled there over 2000 years ago, and brought up in a predominately Hindu and Muslim India. Presently, she is a United States citizen and artist. In her paintings, Benjamin combines the imagery of her past with the role she plays in America today, making a mosaic inspired by Indian miniature paintings, Sephardic icons, and often pop art. She has exhibited in the United States, Europe, and Asia; received an Artist Fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts in 2004; and a Fulbright Fellowship in 2011. She was disheartened by the lack of media coverage of the event in which six of the occupants in the Chabad House, including the Rabbi and his wife, were killed. With the help of the Fulbright Fellowship, Benjamin returned to India several times and with great determination explored and captured the various remaining Indian Jewish faces and stories of the Bene Israel group. These are the works that make up this exhibition. Several were shown in the fall of 2013 at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (Prince of Wales Museum) in Mumbai. Her goal is to raise awareness of the long standing history of this community to which she has such an allegiance. Benjamin uses photography and painting to share the individual stories and remarkable heritage of the ancient group, before their existence becomes an Indian cultural relic.
Opening Sunday March 23, 2014
Artist Talk at 4:30pm
Hadas Gallery – Rohr Center
541 Myrtle Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11205
Phone 718 866 6815
Open by Appointment
Jo-El/ Jore-El: Superheroes, Autobiography & Religion The Art of Joel Silverstein March 23- May 16, 2014 Presented by Hadas Gallery, Rohr Center, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY
From the Catalog:
“Every Philosophy resolves itself into autobiography in the end” – Friedrich Nietzsche
I have always been a nut about superheroes, especially Superman. As a child in the 1960s, it was a particular time when superheroes and comics were corralled into a ghettoized genre, the realm of children, stunted adults and geeks. Reruns of The Adventures of Superman starring George Reeves played endlessly on the television; a big personal inﬂuence on my character despite the now current re-evaluation of its limited budget, special eﬀects and padded foam rubber Superman suit. I was too young for the Marvel Revolution of Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko which centered primarily on college students, yet I would come to this years later.
My interest in superheroes increased rather than decreased when I attended art school in the ‘70s. The use of comics wasn’t new or foreign to art. Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Mel Ramos and even the realist Philip Pearlstein had used Superman and crew as subject matter. But rather than to mirror the earnest quality and expressionist energy of the comics genre, Pop Artists represented the deadpan irony of the ‘60s as contrasted to the “High Art“ and high falutin’ cultural traditions of Europe and America. They also represented a direct renunciation of mid-Twentieth Century Abstract Expressionism with its smug earnestness and posturing to sublimity.
Excerped from an essay by Peggy Earle.
As with most boys in observant Jewish households, Howard was sent to Hebrew and Sunday school at the temple, where he was bar mitzvahed and confirmed. But, he says, his religious training never really clicked. For one thing, his instructors “left out all the good stuff” which, for him, meant the mysticism, the miracles, the ideas and images that can spark a youngster’s imagination.
Years later, Howard Lerner says, he’s been making up for all that. Rather than observing holidays or going to services, Lerner has been creating a series of radiantly eccentric assemblages whose themes originate from the Old Testament and the Kabbalah, tempered by the occasional dash of Rube Goldberg and dollop of whimsy.
What made Lerner’s path unusual is that he became, what a friend jokingly calls, a “born-again Jew” via Siddha Yoga. Lerner is a long-time devotee of that spiritual discipline, founded by the Indian Guru Swami Muktananda. After attending a meditation retreat in the Catskills some years ago, Lerner experienced a vision comprised of both Judaic symbols and references to Yoga. The vision sparked within him a dialogue between the two spiritual paths and inspired him to combine them in his artwork.
Look at the roiling 3-dimensional crazy quilt of “Ezekiel’s Vision.” Supported on four slender legs it looks, at first glance, like an enormous flayed beast that has swallowed a sacrificial altar. For Lerner, the Old Testament description of the exiled prophet Ezekiel’s revelation was a “sculptor’s dream”: a divine chariot with four-faced winged creatures propelled by wheels, each having the visage of an ox, lion, eagle and man. These “hybrid beings” recalled for Lerner imagery observed in ancient Eastern art and religion, uniting that culture and mythology with those of Judaism. In creating this piece, the artist selected and repurposed such unlikely found objects as old record album covers, hamster toys, a flour sifter, lampshades of cloth and glass, starfish, a sea urchin and fireplace bellows. Throughout “Ezekiel’s Vision,” as in the other Biblically-inspired works in this exhibit, Lerner includes words written in Hebrew calligraphy.
What is it about the Hebrew lettering, and its written word, that makes it so dominant in Jewish mystical/abstract art today? In a parallel vein to artist Mel Alexenberg, who proclaims post digital art requires the inspiration of creative Judaic thinking, painter David Baruch Wolk believes that contemporary abstract painting has true meaning only when contending with intellect and the written word. According to Wolk, where abstract expressionism ends, visual words begin. A look at Wolk’s conceptual process provides a glimpse into the function of Hebrew lettering and their words in the visual aesthetics of the mystical Jewish painter.
When it comes to incorporation of texts, Wolk, with the rest of the Jewish mystical movement, is in parallel existence with the general contemporary visual art world. The formal inspiration is identical. Text begins being incorporated by neo-Dadaists such as Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns who use cultural symbols to find meaning in their paintings. Post-war artist CY Twombly incorporates text as a sort of personal encrypted communication. Ruscha, pop artist from the beat generation, is famous for text-only paintings inspired by these artists. Words contribute to conceptual art as well, as in contemporary African American artist Glen Ligon who uses text to tackle concepts of race and culture. Wolk too, seems to continue a formal contemporary tradition: “Where Jasper Johns left off,” Wolk says, “there I started.” But, the use of text in Jewish Mystical Art takes on a very different meaning.
Take the last Heichal Shlomo show called My Soul Thirsts from the Jerusalem biennial, displaying contemporary mystical Jewish artists. There, Hebrew words were predominant, in works by Yossi Arish, Israel Rabinovich, David Louise, Metavel, Asher Dahan, Yudit Margolis, Tal Levi, Daniel Flatauer, David Freidman, Avraham Loewenthal, Baruch Nachshon, and of course, David Baruch Wolk.
A selection of works by Joyce Ellen Weinstein from the series “IN THE BEGINNING.”
YACHOVED, linoleum block print. 29 x 29 in.
Moses’s mother is wistfully and sadly saying good-bye to her child as she watches him float away in his basket of reeds. Her back is highly rounded and bent, emphasizing the burden of her sorrow. She feels she will never see her child again.