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The Exodus from Egypt was a seminal event in Jewish history, not only for its role in the formation of the Jewish People but as the archetypal moment of movement in Judaism. Sometimes this was a movement towards freedom, but just as often such movement came in waves of captivity and expulsion.

This piece uses a triangular shaped, unprimed linen canvas to suggest the sandy color of the desert and the obvious structure of the pyramids. Moses and the lions of Judah lead the way for the former slaves; the linear deer, wildebeest, and African antelope underscore the theme of fleeing from danger. The drawings along the bottom are borrowed from Assyrian reliefs and show a procession of Israelites going into exile. Hovering over the departing slaves is the powerful figure of an angry Pharaoh, while the sharp metal teeth along the fringe surround the Jewish people as enemies. The teeth also mirror the Hebrew characters that run parallel to them.

Allegorical soldiers and warriors from other eras protect our flanks, as does the Israelite’s protector, the mighty Lion of Judah. These are joined by the Lascaux bull, another symbol of strength, as well as a direct tie to my own Taurus identity. Finally, the legs reaching the floor suggest the physical act of walking, transforming the piece from static to active and from an event to an entity.

Listen to Ed talk about this piece in a video

Graphite on linen canvas, saw blades, sand-covered shelf, toy soldiers/animals, other mixed media
126 x 72 x 12 in.

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