Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Hanukkah Double-Down

Just enjoyed my first (and probably last) Hanukkah Double-Down.

Recipe: laterally slice a jelly doughnut in half, insert one oversized latke, and enjoy -- it's like all of Hanukkah in one neat little package!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

"Koufax" prints now available

I have a limited edition of 18 signed and numbered "Koufax" prints available -- archival giclee prints on Swiss archival watercolor stock. Print size is 20x16, including a 2" margin. If you're interested, let me know (before they're all gone) and we can talk price and shipping (as needed).

Sunday, December 5, 2010


I've completed the "Koufax" papercut commission and delivered it this morning -- I'm really pleased with how it turned out. I'm SO happy with it that I'm producing a limited edition of signed, numbered prints -- just email me with your contact information if you're interested in purchasing one. Click the pic above to see a larger image.

The piece is a single sheet papercut, backed with archival elements to represent the life and career of Sandy Koufax. It features clips from “The All-Star Story of the Dodgers,” a 1979 comic book published by Stadium Comics, as well as other baseball memorabilia.

The papercut is a triptych of shofarot, a symbol of Yom Kippur, the Jewish day of atonement. Koufax famously sat out game one of the 1965 World Series because it coincided with Yom Kippur. Why three? The number three reappears contantly with the blowing of the shofar; the Torah commands us three times to blow the shofar, and we are commanded to listen to it three times. There are, as well, three different shofar blasts: tekiyah, shevarim, and teruah; the different sounds of these blasts are reflected in the different patterns of each of the shofarot in the papercut.

The shofar on the right is composed of baseball bats, the natural browns reflecting the coloration of the shofar. At left is the “Dodger Blue” shofar; Koufax played his entire 12-year baseball career for the Dodgers, first in Brooklyn and then in Los Angeles. This shofar reflects that history with pieces of his uniform, stats about his career and records broken, a cheering crowd, and other elements. The shofar in the center includes images of Koufax on the mound, doing what he did so well: Koufax was the first major leaguer to pitch four no-hitters, he was named the National League’s MVP in 1963, and he was the first three-time Cy Young Award winner in baseball history. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972, the youngest former player to receive that honor, and in May of 2010 he was included in a group of prominent Jewish Americans at the first White House reception in honor of Jewish American Heritage Month.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Hag Hanukkah Sameach
from Nice Jewish Artist

Here's wishing you all a Happy Hanukkah! This is a shot of a Hanukkah papercut from a few years back -- taken in my house, in the frame, so forgive the shoddy repro quality (I think you can see my hands holding the camera in the reflection!). The Hebrew reads, "Nes Gadol Haya Sham" (a great miracle happened there).

Monday, November 29, 2010

"Koufax" papercut is nearly done --
enjoy this teaser!

Here's a real sweet detail shot of the "Koufax" papercut I've been working on; I'm really excited about finishing it up (soon!).

The original will be available for purchase, but also -- for the first time ever -- I'll be making available a limited edition of signed and numbered archival giclee prints. Details coming soon.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

New papercut in development...
Enjoy these teaser shots!

Here are a few early shots from while I was on cutting out the structures:

And here's a shot of it as I start to add in the backing. If you look closely, you'll find a hint about the final piece.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Completed commission:
Aniversary Tree

This is the completed "anniversary tree" commission I just completed and delivered.

Created in celebration of a 25th wedding anniversary, the husband commissioned the work as a surprise gift for his wife. The trunk of the tree starts out as two colors, which mingle and intertwine as the tree grows, become inseparable where the leaves start to branch out. Within the leaves are the Hebrew names of the couple's three sons.

There are a few comic pieces thrown in (that's what I do, after all) but this is mostly backed with colored art papers.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Commission in progress:
Anniversary gift

This is a detail from a commission I'm working on right now. It's a surprise anniversary gift from husband to wife, and (at his request) an arboreal piece, with the Hebrew names of their three children worked into the greenery.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

"Tower of Babel" papercut incorporates comic speech bubbles

I never posted a photo of the completed "Tower of Babel" papercut that was in my recent show at Brave new World Comics -- and so with this post I remedy that situation.

It's composed in a shape reminiscent of a ziggurat, with a winding outer path that ascends to the top of the tower. The background is made of assorted cut-up speech bubbles from various comics, all chosen to reflect the theme of confusion, disorder, and emergent chaos that comes with the destruction of the tower.
Bereshit/Genesis 11:1-9

And the whole earth was of one language and of one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. And they said one to another, "Come, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly." And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar. And they said, "Come, let us build us a city, and a tower, with its top in heaven, and let us make us a name; lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth."

And God came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men built. And God said, "Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is what they begin to do; and now nothing will be withholden from them, which they purpose to do. Come, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech."

So God scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth; and they left off to build the city. Therefore was the name of it called Babel; because God did there confound the language of all the earth; and from thence did God scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The first ever (?) steampunk papercut:
"Brave New World"

I'm happy to share a photo of my latest papercut with you, made as a gift for Portlyn and Atom!, the fine folks who helped bring you my latest show at Brave New World Comics. It's about them, so there are no doubt a few references that may go over one's head, but I believe the piece is nonetheless aesthetically pleasing. It includes bits and pieces of:

X-Men 179
Ultimate Secret 3
Ultimate Extinction 3
White Tiger (trade book)
Superman 330 (1978)
Hulk 280 (1983)
Marvel Team-up 40 and 46 (1976)
ROM 27 (1982)
Fantastic Four 233 (1981) and 282 (1985)
Avengers 229 (1983)

Friday, September 24, 2010

"You did WHAT ... ?!?"
featured on Proxart Blog

There's a good feature on my work and the show at Brave New World Comics on the Proxart blog today -- enjoy!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Free Sukkot "How To" Poster
from Nice Jewish Artist

I made this poster a few years back as a fun instructional guide on "how to hold and wave the four species" -- feel free to download, print, distribute, and share (as long as you credit it to Just click on the little image on the right for a full-size, high-res JPEG sized 11x17 inches. Happy Sukkot!

Happy Sukkot from
Nice Jewish Artist

Happy Sukkot! We B2s are busy getting our sukkah into shape, looking forward to a week of harvest fun; how about you?

The two shows are going well. We've already sold most of the work at Brave New World Comics, gotten a lot of great traffic at the Finegood Galley, and have gotten some good press. I thank you all for your support and interest. If you've been hoping to have a chance to own one of my comic book / papercutting mash-ups, this is your chance -- come on down to either one of the shows and check out what everyone's talking about!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Check out the show catalog
from Brave New World Comics

Want to see what you're missing? Click here to view a PDF catalog of the works currently being shown in "You did WHAT to my comics?!?!" at Brave New World Comics.

See what's on exhibit
at The Finegood Gallery

Right now I'm showing four pieces in a group show at The Finegood Gallery of the West Valley Jewish Community Center (West Hills, California) -- click the image above to see a larger version (but go see the show, open through October 17, to see them as they were intended to be enjoyed):

The Finegood Gallery
22622 Vanowen Street
West Hills, California
818 464 3218

Monday, September 13, 2010


The fine folks at have a brief review of the opening we held at Brave New World Comics this weekend -- please check it out. Excerpt:
"...taking the Hebrew from Darth Vader's chest plate, mixing in a little Darkseid, and cutting up some Final Crisis might be a bit of a stretch, or it might be awesome."

Saturday, September 11, 2010

"You did WHAT to my comics?" --
Thanks for a great opening night!

The show opened tonight at Brave New World Comics and it was a big success. I'll post details and pix soon, as well as a catalog of works, but for now know this: a lot of great people came, including family and friends, and a lot of art was discussed and sold. Thanks to everyone who came out and made it so great!

Friday, September 10, 2010

"Tower of Babel" papercut incorporates cut-up comic book speech bubbles

Sneak peek at a detail shot of my "Tower of Babel" Paper Midrash papercut, which will likely be on the walls at my show at Brave New World Comics, starting this Saturday night. Hand-selected for this piece, the speech bubbles are from a range of comics, including Thor.

You did WHAT to my comics?!?
Fine Art Mash-up ∙ New Work by Isaac Brynjegard-Bialik

Opening Reception at Brave New World Comics
on Saturday, September 11, from 7 to 10 pm

Show open from September 11 through October 9

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Raven:
In-progress sketch

Working on a raven papercut, based on the Noah story in Bereshit: "And he sent forth a Raven, and it went forth and to and fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth." The rabbis have a lot of fun with what "to and fro" could really be about -- is it about the raven arguing back and forth with Noah? Is it related to the idea that the raven found a fresh corpse to alight upon and never returned to the ark, hence requiring Noah to release another bird -- the dove? The raven is a tricky bird...

The look of the raven is being driven by Native American representations of the trickster-god Raven, and I'm still working on the background textures. I assure you, loyal fans, it will involve comic books in some way. And if I finish it in time, you can see the final at my upcoming show at Brave New World Comics.

More details on the show are available here.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

"You did WHAT to my comics?" --
Details on Show at Brave New World

You did WHAT to my comics?
Fine Art Mash-up ∙ New Work by Isaac Brynjegard-Bialik

Opening Reception at Brave New World Comics
on Saturday, September 11, from 7 to 10 pm

Show Open from September 11 through October 9

Brave New World Comics

22722 Lyons Avenue
Newhall, CA 91321

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Brynjegard-Bialik Papercuts
in Two Upcoming SoCal Shows

I've got a one-man show at Brave New World Comics in Santa Clarita opening on Saturday, September 11 (through October 9). I've also got four pieces in the fall show at the Finegood Gallery at the West Valley Jewish Community Center; that show opens on September 2, with an artists' reception on Sunday, September 12. Click the card image above to enlarge it for full details.

The image is a detail from "Fountains of the Deep." In Bereshit/Genesis 7:11 we read that "In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, all the fountains of the deep came bursting through, and the windows of heaven were opened."

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Priestly Blessing illustration

This is one in a series of illustrations I'm doing for a High Holiday prayerbook for my wife, the rabbi. I'm posting this one because she's already nixed it -- so no "spoiler alert" needed.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Two Upcoming Shows
in Southern California

SAVE THE DATE! I've got a one-man show at Brave New World Comics in Santa Clarita opening on Saturday, September 11 (through October 9). I've also got four pieces in the fall show at the Finegood Gallery at the West Valley Jewish Community Center; that show opens on September 2, with an artists' reception on Sunday, September 12. Invitations will be going out soon. If you don't think you're on my distribution list, please drop me an email or add a comment and ask to be added. Otherwise, stay tuned to this blog for details.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Beware the trickery of
"Trickster Coyote"

I've completed my "Trickster Coyote" papercut today! Based on the traditional Native American representation of Trickster Coyote, the piece uses cut-up Loki comics as background texture, bringing together an ancient trickster with a comic book counterpart. The Loki pieces are from Thor comics throughout the 20th century, including some Jack Kirby and John Buscema. There are also some Native American colors and textures (courtesy of Alpha Flight and The Ringo Kid), and a few other surprises here and there.

This piece, and many others, will be on display in my upcoming one-man show at Brave New World Comics (the opening reception is Saturday, September 11).

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Trickster Coyote papercut
begins to take shape

I'm working on a papercut for my upcoming show at Brave New World Comics (opening reception is Saturday, September 11), and I thought I'd share a couple of detail photos as it's coming together. The image on the left is just the cut; on the right you can see the background getting filled in -- I'm using Loki as a primary background element, but there may be some other characters you recognize once it's done...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

"Incredible" Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil

Yesterday I finished a new papercut of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil from the Garden of Eden -- I call it "incredible" because the background texture comprises cut-up pieces of comics featuring "The Incredible Hulk."

In this piece I'm exploring the double-edged knowledge humankind gets from exploiting the atom -- on the one hand, the potential for great power, and on the other, the potential for great destruction; ask Dr. Bruce Banner about the negative side, and you'll get it.

The shape of the tree is partial allusion to a mushroom cloud, and it's filled with the Hulk (and foliage) from a wide-ranging collection of comics -- including the work of Jack Kirby in the first Hulk comics all the way up through recent storylines like "World War Hulk."

You'll find a few different fruits (keeping with the rabbis' suggestion that we don't specifically identify which tree it was in order to avoid embarrassing it), and as usual I've also thrown in a few caption bubbles. Here are a few detail shots (click the pix below to see them larger) -- but if you want to see it live (and really, there's no better way to appreciate it), stay tuned for details on my upcoming Fall show at Brave New World Comics in Santa Clarita.

Monday, July 12, 2010

"Israel" Mural for Temple Ahavat Shalom

Today the mural I designed for Temple Ahavat Shalom's Early Childhood Education Center finally, really, got underway. I started the design in June, got the final version approved this past weekend, and today I went in and sketched it out on the walls. Tomorrow the campers at TAS's Camp Kehillah will paint it in, and if all goes well it will look like the mock-up above (click the thumbnail or here to see it bigger). It starts on one end with Mt. Hermon, becomes the green hills and colorful flowers of the Galil, then the sabras and sand of the Negev, and finally the lush pink coral and blue water of Eilat. (Yes, some liberties with scale and other aspects of reality were taken.)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Teaching kids how to cut paper
at URJ Camp Newman, Part 2

As I said in my earlier post, every summer I spend two weeks at URJ Camp Newman leading classes in papercutting. Here are a few more photos of the campers at work on their papercuts.

To read about what theye did, and to see pix of their finished work, check out my earlier post.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Teaching kids how to cut paper
at URJ Camp Newman

Every summer I spend two weeks at URJ Camp Newman leading classes in papercutting. The students are all campers in a program called Hagigah, which is focused on Jewish expression through the arts -- fine art, dance, music, writing, photography, video, and more. They're all high school students, many of whom have been coming to Camp Newman since they were little, and the summer is always a great experience.

One of the groups I worked with choose papercutting as their "major" -- two hours per day, six days a week, for two weeks. The other group choose it as a minor, and spent one hour per day with me.

The students took to their knives rapidly, and had a great time learning a new medium. The first project for each group was a mizrach, an ornamental wall plaque used to indicate the direction of prayer (east) in Jewish homes. The major's big project was then to tell a story from the Tanakh (Torah, prophets, and writings) or midrash, while the minor designed the Hagigah poster that would advertise the end-of-session "Peachy Levy Festival of the Arts."

I'm really proud of the work the students did -- and so I'm sharing some of it here for your enjoyment.

Mizrach Project
We brainstormed as a group about what elements should be in a mizrach, to represent the east -- we were all pleased to see so many different interpretations of one extended motif come to life in our class.

Each student in the major chose a story from Tanakh or midrash (with the assistance of me and/or one of the rabbis we had with us) and illustrated it through this new medium they were exploring.

Just for Fun
Some of the students had some time for some smaller projects, just for fun, at the end of the session.

All of this work is copyright by the students who created it -- I'm just not naming them since they are minors. I'll be glad to field any questions about the creators or their work.