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Life-affirming art for modern families
— Ross C Berman
Here I am pictured with "The Rothman Unetaneh Tokef", commisioned by Mark A Rothman.
As an artist, I live for the story — and The Big Life Story is what my Chai series is all about. This one specific word is a Remarkable way for me to engage the full feeling of LIFE, and to express it outwards. I also use my daily prayer to bring metaphor and meaning into my studio and send it out through “Chai.” Chai affirms that it's within our capacity to be joy-filled in our lives. I saturate my pictures with color, hope, and deep modern wisdom gained from all my experiences.
Why this project? Well, I grew up believing that one day we’d all be living in a truly free society and we'd be reflecting the riches of peace and love and justice and loving-kindness. I thought we’d be there now!
I have always wanted to create art and illustrations that illuminated these values. The world of commercial illustration was smothering my soul and I was having profound and moving experiences not making art per se — sitting at my kitchen table, improvising tunes for Song of Songs and the Psalms. My world was expanding with the feeling of life, with compassion, color, and line. I knew practically nothing about Jewish practice, but I knew I wanted to explore a Jewish theme.
But Wait! Um—Graven images!
And the tropes . . . Bible stories and study houses, scholars and Chasidut, the shtetl — and now even Mr Chagall.
One day, I fell into a reverie contemplating the Hebrew word for Life — חי (Chai).
In, through, and around the letterforms, I witnessed endless possibilities! And I found one of my throughlines to explore and comment on what's important now.
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Museum quality Canvas and Fine Art archival prints and reproductions. 100% acid free archival cotton papers — a true museum quality appearance.
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