1 | Wings of the Spirit

»You have wings of the spirit,
wings of powerful eagles.«

—Rav Avraham Yitzhak HaCohen Kook (1965–1935)


Everything got kickstarted over 12 years ago with our move to Israel and living in the Jewish homeland since. This mysterious journey opened up new doors inside of me as an artist; an inner relaxation of the soul that allowed me to combine my Jewish identity with my artistic one through my art. 

Gerhard Richter once said: painting is another form of thinking. I‘d like to slightly alter this statement: for me, art and painting are another form of prayer. Just like a person changes through prayer and attains a different identity, so does the artist through the artistic process. Something happens, something we sometimes have no control over, because IT happens with us and to us — and we step out of it new and different than from where we entered. The artwork we create and leave behind is our witness of this process. And in the best case reflects this internal journey.

I always like to think of artists (of any genre) as translators and agents of what John Keats called The Poetry of Earth, therefore the poetry of creation and all that is connected to it. Translators, whose duty it is to show what can’t be seen, name what can’t be told and record what’s invisible and silent. We use our wings of the spirit to bridge this gap between the heavens and earth. At least, we constantly try. Each with our particular themes and identities. 

My theme is Jewish identity. And I like to title what I do »New Jewish Art & Design«. 

But — What makes art Jewish? 
The fact that the artist is Jewish?  
The fact, that the theme is Jewish? 
What does Jewish mean in this context?
Jewish history? Jewish religion? 
Or even Israeli history or culture? 

Certainly, there is no one answer to this question, so the question is: what does it mean to me? And I think, this question is the raison d’être behind a lot of the art that I create — by exploring new ways of religious, spiritually inspired art.

What can Jewish art of the 21st century appear like? 
And how relevant is it outside the Jewish world? 

Frankly speaking, I am not interested in being artist no. xyz, adding her interpretation of the Binding of Yitzhak or the Parting of the Red Sea, Dancing Chassidim or a Jewish Woman Lighting Shabbos Candles. So many wonderful artists have told these stories before, and — feeling somewhat pragmatic about it — I do not have the need to add to this collection. 

As a person and artist I am strongly influenced by my synesthetic perception of the world – as a designer in the 21st century, I am lead by design thinking, by concepts of abstract reductions, shapes, color and textures, and working out their innate strengths and creative depths — the ongoing creation of metaphor. And as a Jew, I am connected to the centuries and millenniums of Jewish history, thought and philosophy. And it is precisely this fusion, excitement and tension between the past and the present, the old and the new that determines a lot of my work. 

I would like to work against the often found view that leading a religious life, a spiritual life is a form of anachronism of times passed — by exploring traditional concepts in new ways: and stress the uplifting spiritual essence of all art and design, as I am fully convinced that art is always part of and an expression of our humanity.


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