Monday, January 16, 2012

King David + Elvis = "The King"

This is the last piece I made for my Memphis show; it's not a part of the "Paper Tefillah" series, but rather a portrait of King David.

Based on the King of Spades playing card (traditionally, each of the four kings is based on a real king), I've replaced the sword with a guitar, added sideburns and full lips, and voila: it's Elvis Presley.

Backed by cut-up pictures from the 1995 LIFE magazine special "Celebrating Elvis," observant lookers will see album covers, parts of outfits, images of Graceland, leather pants, Vegas jumpsuits for the jewels in the crown, crowd shots from his Independence Day 1956 Memphis concert in the spades, and much more.

In the faces of the king I've placed part of Psalm 33 (in English and Hebrew), written by King David; these bits were taken from an old prayerbook that was headed for ritual burial in the genizah. It includes the lines:
Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous;
it is fitting for the upright to praise him.
Praise the Lord with the lyre;
make music unto him with the harp of ten strings.
Sing to him a new song;
play skilfully with sounds, and shout for joy.
 You can see it in person at Temple Israel in Memphis, now through February 8. If you're interested in purchasing an archival giclee print, drop me a line.

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