“PAINT BY NUMBERS” Exhibition

PLEASE JOIN ME at the OPENING RECEPTION 
Thursday, September 8 2016,  6:00 – 8:00 PM

PAINT BY NUMBERS
Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Museum
One West Fourth St, New York NY
September 8, 2016- June 30, 2017

Numbers are integral to Jewish rituals, belief, significant historical dates, and daily life. Numbers and numerology have been at the core of Biblical understanding since the Bible was codified and possibly before. Inescapable, numbers are the global language of humanity. More than fifty contemporary artists illuminate the meaning of numbers and their symbolism through a broad range of artistic media.

JM and Faith _01.20.16

“Two Generations x Seven Emotions”

Dimensions: 13.25H x 17.5W inches
Framed: 20H x 24W inches
Year Completed: 2016
Medium: Hot Press Bright Fine Art Paper with Archival Pigmented Inks

I photographed my friends, Joanmarie and Faith, as they were teaching themselves to wrap their arms with the tefillin seven times. It is the mother’s hand that is the foundation for her daughter as they learn to follow the commandment to bind oneself to a higher power and channel the divine energies of the seven emotions.

“And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might.  Teach these words to your children. Recite them at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise up. Bind them on your arm and on your head and inscribe them on the door-posts of your house.

Ukraine_August.08_Medzhybizh

“Eternal Flame of the Shin”
Medzhybizh, Ukraine c.1800

Dimensions: 12H x 18W inches
Framed 18H x 24W inches
Year Completed: 2008
Medium: Hot Press Bright Fine Art Paper with Archival Pigmented Inks

“Eternal Flame of the Shin,” was photographed in the cemetery near the ohel protecting the Baal Shem Tov’s tomb. Outstretched hands, joined in a gesture of blessing, were symbolically carved onto the headstones of Kohanim, descendants of the Biblical priests.

In Medzhybizh, the birth place of Hassidism and the Baal Shem Tov, I found the ritualistic gesture in the whitewashed hands inviting me to dig deeper into its meaning.

The four fingers on each hand are customarily split into two sets of two fingers each,  forming the letter Shin (שׁ), the 21st letter in the Hebrew alphabet that also designates Shaddai, the Almighty Creator.

The four stones poignantly placed on top of the gravestone serve to commemorate the life and enduring presence of the deceased. This image depicts my own mitzvot, uniting past and present, and the love and respect I have for learning from my ancestors.

Hours:
Monday-Thursday, 9am-5pm,  Friday, 9am-3pm 

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TREASURED: Honoring Precious and Vanishing Worlds

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TREASURED: HONORING PRECIOUS AND VANISHING WORLDS is an exhibition at the Annmarie Sculpture Garden and Arts Center in Solomons, MD that features three prints from my fine art portfolios: Bet Hayyim (House of the Living) and Endangered Historic Houses.
The art exhibit opens on June 15 and continues to August 26 2012.

Title: Hands of the Kohan.  Medzhybizh, Ukraine, 2008, Edition: 3/10
12 x 18 inches, Fine Art Paper with Archival Pigmented Inks

Title: Kohans, Levites and the Star of David.  Chernivtsi, Ukraine, 2008, Edition:3/10
12 x 18 inches,  Fine Art Paper with Archival Pigmented Inks

In 2008 I crisscrossed the heartland of the Ukraine  to photograph historic Jewish cemeteries and hand-carved tombstones in cities, towns and shtetls. Every site had a story to tell and each stone was an artistic treasure filled with iconographic beauty and mystery. The headstones of the Kohanim, descendants of the Biblical priests, had hands joined in a gesture of blessing. The pitcher pouring water represented the tribe of Levites, the assistants to the priests. Some epitaphs were intricately carved, the stones decorated in an elaborate Jewish script covering the entire surface; others held only the most minimal outline of the Star of David. Other friezes depicted symbols of lineage and gender. These gravestones, some dating from the 1400’s, depict a visual history of the once vast community of Eastern European Jews, and serve as reminders of the people who lived in this place and died.

Title: Shattered Spaces. 2012
Edition: 3/10
12 x 18 inches, Fine Art Paper with Archival Pigmented Inks

Less than two years ago the Shoemaker-Houck Farm was in excellent condition, one of the premier structures located within the New Jersey Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area that is owned by the National Park Service. The front portion of the house was built in 1822 while the rear portion was built in the eighteenth century. This National Register Site has no protection and has now become vandalized. The back door is wide open and window glass is missing, sadly revealing the ruins of neglect. These scarred elements are key to understanding the rural development of northwestern New Jersey and the significant role that area played in American history.

I am drawn to the timeless nature of historic architecture because it is a repository of collective memories – a record of our heritage, the builders and the people who once inhabited these spaces. There is an urgency about what I photograph because each derelict site is a reminder of our inadequacy as cultural stewards. I look to the architectural details, to the deeply etched memories in the stones, the walls and the structures as a window to remembering our past.

‘The Song of the Land’

Opening January 20 2012 – May 31 2012
Reception –  February 23 2012  5-7pm
Hebrew Union College, Institute of Religion, John H. Skirball Campus
3077 University Avenue
Los Angeles, Ca 90007-3796

Included in the ‘The Song of the Land’  Exhibition is a framed print from my
Bet Hayyim – House of Life’ series:


Title: Hands of the Kohan, Medzhybizh, Ukraine 2008
Medium: Fine Art Digital Inkjet Paper with Archival Pigmented Inks
Size:  10 inches x 15 inches
Framed: $700.00 – 16 inches x 20 inches
Edition 4/10

I viewed the thousands of stones in the Jewish cemeteries throughout the Ukraine as artistic treasures of iconographic beauty and mystery. The headstones of the Kohanim, descendants of the Biblical priests, had hands joined in a gesture of blessing. The carved gravestones depict a visual history of the once vast community of Eastern European Jews, and serve as reminders of the people who lived in this place and died.

As a historic preservation photographer, I document sites being bulldozed or restored. As a fine art photographer, I choose my destinations to record the poetics of a place. There is an urgency about what I photograph because each is a painful reminder of our inadequacy as cultural stewards. I am drawn to the timeless nature of historic architecture because it is a repository of collective memories. From its ever-evolving essence one can understand the sites’ creative and passionate link to humanity.

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