Religion & Beliefs

Jewish Art

Who’s your favorite Jewish artist? I’m curious. They can work in any medium, as long as they’re making something visual. Who do you like? No, I mean BESIDES Chagall. Chagall doesn’t count. From Annie Liebowitz to Frida Kahlo (intermarrieds, represent!), … Read More

By / February 7, 2007

Who’s your favorite Jewish artist? I’m curious. They can work in any medium, as long as they’re making something visual. Who do you like?

No, I mean BESIDES Chagall. Chagall doesn’t count.

From Annie Liebowitz to Frida Kahlo (intermarrieds, represent!), Jews abound in the art world. Yt even though important painters like Soutine (orthodox no less) were Jewish, we don’t talk about them much.

And although every Jewish library, synagogue, and JCC displays Jewish art on its walls… supports Jewish artists, this form of expression doesn’t get as much mention as say, literature. Maybe because there’s so much fucking abstract stained glass, hand-sewn tallis bags, ornate dreidels.

Or maybe that’s just because we’re the people of the book.

But there’s a lot more to that in Jewish art. Even the work that isn’t overtly religious in subject is Jewish art. So if you examine it (in a major museum, a local gallery, online, or in a book) and think about your own Jewish experience, you may find that it teaches you something.

Art doesn’t have to be ABOUT spirituality to inform your spiritual journey. And in any case, it’s pretty (or scary or intense or radical or whatever you want it to be).

Now, who’s your favorite Jewish artist? (and Asher Lev does NOT count!)