Sunday, May 15, 2016

Temple Ahavat Shalom Jubilee Gala – "Windws on the Bima"

We had a spectacular time last time at the Temple Ahavat Shalom Jubilee Gala, celebrating the first 50 years of our existence as a kehillah kedoshah – a holy community. To mark the occasion I created "Windows on the Bima" – a papercut in two seaprately-framed parts inspired by the stained glass windows in our sanctuary on either side of the ark — the pillars of fire which protected and guided the Hebrews on their journey to the land of Israel.

Windows on the Bima (Left)
12" x 36"
Mixed media

Windows on the Bima (Right)
12" x 36"
Mixed media

The papercuts are from the perspective of a member of the congregation, looking up at the ark, during a moment of a prayer —  for this is a moment when the community stands together, with a unified purpose and intent.

Detail of one of the eight sections in "Windows on the Bima."

Made of cut-up comics, the papercuts feature heroes representing the ideals of the synagogue; within the flames can be found Superman, Supergirl, Batman, Wonder Woman, Iron Man, Captain America, The Flash, Thor, Spider-Man, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, and more. Inspiring words from these comics are scattered throughout as well, representing the peace and love found within this community. And of course, there are a few instances of the number “50” and some comics from 1965, when Temple Ahavat Shalom was founded.

Action Comics #844 (Dec 2006)
Amazing Spider-Man King-Size Special #4 (1967)
Astonishing X-Men #12 (Aug 2005)
Captain America #336 (Dec 1987)
DC Comics Presents #32 (Apr 1981)
Fantastic Four #8 (July 2013)
The Flash #152 (May 1965); #1 (Jun 2010)
Grayson #5 (Feb 2015)
Green Arrow #50 (Jul 2005)
Marvel Team-Up #60 (Apr 1984)
Marvel Two-in-One #59 (Jan 1980)
The Mighty Thor #374 (Dec 1983)
The Phantom #10 (Feb 1965)
Superman #3 (May 1987)
Ultimate Avengers #13 (Oct 2010)
Wonder Woman #603 (Nov 2010)
The original was auctioned off at the gala, and we produced a limited edition of 20 signed, numbered prints to raise additional money to support the activities of the synagogue.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Truth, Justice, Peace – Captain America and Rabbi Steve Sirbu

Truth, Justice, Peace
16" x 20"
Mixed media

Truth, Justice, Peace is an original papercut that was commissioned as a gift for Rabbi Steven Sirbu by Temple Emeth of New Jersey on the occasion of their 2016 Spring Gala honoring him (this past weekend) on the occasion of his “bar mitzvah year” with that congregation. He's also a long-time friend.

The piece is inspired by Rabbi Sirbu’s work for the congregation and his dedication to truth, justice, and peace — with words from Pirkei Avot which tell us that the world is sustained by those three concepts. However, the middle concept in Pirkei Avot, in the original Hebrew, is דין (“deen”) which is usually translated as “judgment.” Artistic license transforms that word to צדק (“tzedek”). Supported by these words is the world itself, with New Jersey in central position.

The papercut is made of cut-up comic books featuring Captain America, symbol of truth, justice, and peace — a man who has dedicated his life to helping others and serving higher causes. Captain America’s real name, of course, is Steve Rogers — another connection to Rabbi Sirbu. Within the Hebrew we find words celebrating those qualities for which Captain America and Rabbi Sirbu fight, as well as references to the original words from Pirkei Avot and a reference to Temple Emeth.

This piece includes:
  • Captain America #263 (Jan 1986), #322 (Oct 86), #333-338 (Oct 87 – Feb 88), #413 (Mar 1993), #600 (Aug 2009), #634 (Sep 2012), #636 (Nov 2012), #12 (Dec 2013)
  • Captain America – Marvel Knights #14 (Aug 2003)
  • Avengers #501 (Oct 2004)
  • Ultimate New Ultimates #1 (May 2010)

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Pillars of Fire at Temple Ahavat Shalom Gala

Two weeks to go until the annual gala at Temple Ahavat Shalom, and I'm nearly done with the TWO BIG PIECES I'm creating for the fund-raising auction. They're based on the stained glass windows in the sanctuary, and they are going to be great – so here's a teaser image to whet your appetite.

Details on the gala – including ticket info a phone number if you're curious about the auction items – are right here: