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Describing the Jewish world of his era as “Moishe kapoyer” (topsy-turvy), Marc Chagall made decorations for the Yiddish theater in which images were upside down. This idea inspired my piece.

A drawn and silk-screened representation of rabbis and Hebrew scholars occupy a spiraling, frantic shape in the heart of this work. A confrontational lioness is encased in a metal ring, which represents unity and wholeness while contrasting with the fierce energy of the wild cat.

Each object has symbolic significance: The upside-down eggbeater recalls Chagall’s images in modern form, and the once alive bamboo and leather symbolize life becoming death. The chains suspended from the brass angel represent bondage and cruelty, but they’re also links that bind us together. Finally, there is a cross-like form superimposed over the many Jewish images, a metaphor for the Christians having been friends as well as foes.

In our times, as much as Chagall’s, the Jewish world contains elements of chaos as well as strength.

Charcoal/pastel/silk screen on leather pelt, metal ring, brass angel, bamboo, other mixed media objects
64 x 58 x 5 in.

[Hover over the image to magnify it]