Wednesday, June 8, 2011

"King David":
Commission for a Magician

I'm very pleased to share with you a photo of my latest completed commission, titled "King David."


Commissioned for award-winning magician Paul Green by his wife to mark his birthday, "King David" is a representation in paper of the King of Spades playing card, an oft-used tool of the close-up magician. The King of Spades is traditionally known as King David -- an acclaimed warrior, musician, and poet, and credited with writing most of the Book of Psalms.

The "King David" papercut brings together magic and Judaism in this birthday commission, backed in shades of green to represent Paul's name and his predilection for that color.

The background of the papercut features cut-up comics, featuring snippets of Green Lantern, Green Arrow, and others. The papercut also includes a section from Psalm 145 (from a book taken from the genizah before ritual burial), written by King David, which contains reference to "thy wondrous works" -- used by the artist as an allusion to Paul's magic. The English words of the psalm are found in the "top" face, and the corresponding Hebrew is found in the reverse.

Below are details of the two faces -- click the images to see them larger.


  1. I love this. I am a scholar of Hebrew Bible and wrote a book on King David. I'm curious to know why you include the sword, but not the harp. Or, am I missing it?

  2. Thanks, Dr. V. I opted to leave the sword -- traditionally held by the King of Spades -- and have both sides of King David represented here: the warrior King as well as the poet. I considered changing it to a harp, and also considered a sling... but decided to maintain the integrity of the playing card structure more closely in this papercut.