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art for connecting with the Divine
— Ross C Berman
Here I am pictured with "The Rothman Unetaneh Tokef", commisioned by Mark A Rothman.
I wish to offer a simple threshold for anyone to connect with the fullness of life. From my heart, through my heritage, I hope to touch you in reimagining your connection with the Divine.
Growing up, I believed that one day we’d all live in a truly free society and we'd reflect the riches of peace and love and justice and loving-kindness. (I thought we’d be there now!) I'd longed to make art that illuminated these values.
After art school, designing and illustrating for a junk-filled world, I made an ethical choice to design for the natural foods industry. For years, I made it my mission to see organic foods in every home. As important as this work was, my grand vision and wins didn't help me to hurdle my personal crisis of meaning.
By nature, I'm a spiritual seeker and I journeyed.
One crystalline Tuesday afternoon in November — a dark night of my soul — I reached for my Bar Mitzvah copy of the Bible and turned to The Psalms and The Song of Songs. Prayers and Psalms . . . the Art of the Jewish People. Improvising, I sang them! expressing feelings of Life — etched by compassion, colored by longing, celebrated in line.
I felt physically held. Now, I hardly knew how to practice Judaism, but I knew I wanted to explore this path visually. But how? Jewish genre? . . . Bible stories, study houses, scholars, the ghetto, fiddlers on roofs? Hey — Not my bag!
So I wondered could I create art that was like a prayer, a song? In Hebrew, I wrote one word — חַי Chai — LIFE. Using Chai as a central motif and organizing principle, I poured out hundreds of sketches. Here was a symbol calling me to clarify complex relationships.
There are signs of Life everywhere.
Many of my pieces are informed by the Psalms, the words of Tanakh (the Hebrew Bible, what some may call The Old Testament), by rabbinic literature, by custom, by my own contemplations and responses to the world-as-it-is and the world-that-could-be.
I’m inspired to look at the sacred, the dangerous — the Love — and to wrestle with it. I believe that art can help us all to be more open, relaxed, and compassionate. As an artist and visual poet, it's my job to comment on and respond to a world of desire and resistance.
I believe that we're all more alike than we are different. I spend my days (and many nights!) in awe, wondering about Life. I make art to express my love for life, even in the struggle. Especially in the struggle.
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Museum quality fine art prints and reproductions on 100% acid free archival cotton rag papers, quality aluminum, and wood substrates. Original paintings and drawings are offered on high quality canvas and papers.
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