‘Brooklyn Shtetl’ Opens at the Hadas Gallery

15 May

By Joshua Stulman

Hadas Gallery is proud to present the recent paintings by emerging artist, Ali Spechler.

Move over Marc Chagall, this isn’t Jewish shtetl life! “Brooklyn Shtetl” is a series of contemporary Jewish portraiture by painter Ali Spechler. Her informal paintings underline the complexity and variety of how “Jewishness” is expressed in our modern time.

Eric by Ali Spechler

Spechler’s portraits beam with personality. Her emphasis on character reveals the individual quirks of her subjects. In Ariella and Simcha, she portrays a rabbi distracted by his busy schedule and obligations as he poses with his pregnant wife. A twist on the Van Eyck classic, Arnolfini Wedding Portrait, both husband and wife are independent, strong leaders. Gigi with Tefillin captures a moment of silent devotion of a young Israeli before leaving for the army.

Spechler’s subjects range in mood. Somber, hilarious, confident; she paints personality with all its appeal and flaws. Her paintings play with the seriousness that can overburden religious affiliation “Brooklyn Shtetl” is not the idealized or stereotyped Jewish life canonized in Judaica. This is Jewish life as it exists today.

The people in her paintings are real and relatable. Her portraits challenge the sometimes quirky meshing of religious identity with pop culture.

“Brooklyn Shtetl” will be shown May 15- June 30. Regular gallery hours are Sunday through Thursday 1pm-6pm or by appointment. The opening will be Sunday May 15, 2-5pm. An artist lecture will be held on Wednesday June 15th at 8 pm.

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