Yishai Jusidman’s color palette is limited to materials connected to the Nazi gas chambers: Prussian Blue, a pigment that appeared on the chamber walls as a by-product of the Zyklon B Gas; a silicon dioxide power used for pellets that delivered the gas to the sealed chambers; and flesh-tone colored paints, referring to the murdered millions.
For those of you who are not fortunate enough to have a geek/nerd/fanperson in your life, New York Comic-Con was in town the weekend of October 11th to 14th. Stepping into the Javits Center is like magic, as you are suddenly surrounded by not only other people who have an over appreciation for comic books, but crowds so thick with people dressed as Princess Leia or Inuyasha that it’s hard to move.
The cause of social justice had been ingrained in Heather Stoltz for so long that her first job out of college — as an engineer designing bakery machines that replaced human labor — caused a crisis of conscience.
Israel’s cultural capital is putting artists front and center in 2012.
Tel Aviv — In the past few years, Tel Aviv has been dubbed a top travel destination for everyone from beach lovers to gays and lesbians, but until relatively recently few overseas tourists traveled to the city specifically to take in its contemporary art scene.
The culture wars in Israel these days makes you pine for the ones we had here, in the States, some 15 years ago. In America, it all seemed like grand theater--Giuliani, for instance, catering to hard-core Christians aghast at a painting of the Virgin Mary covered in feces. But in Israel the state has a far stronger hand in culture. So when the current Likud Culture Minister, Limor Livnat, threatened to withhold money to artists who refused to perform in the Ariel performing center, in the occupied West Bank, it meant something.
Pop artist Jeff Koons is interested in the art of the grand gesture. But it is art on a very small scale that got him interested in FEGS, the Jewish communal organization that deals with employment, job training and counseling.
Koons became involved with FEGS through real estate developer and UJA-Federation of New York honorary board member Larry Silverstein and his wife Klara. He was invited to tour a downtown FEGS center in 2009, where he saw art being used to help people with various ailments.
MOMA’s Francis Alÿs retrospective omits the conceptual artist’s best works.
Four years ago, the Belgian artist Francis Alÿs displayed one of his best works in years, “The Green Line,” at Chelsea’s David Zwirner Gallery. With a characteristically axiomatic subtitle — “Sometimes Doing Something Poetic Can Become Political, and Sometimes Doing Something Political Can Become Poetic” — it gave an artist’s askance view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and achieved that rare artistic feat: chastising the political status quo without becoming either cynical or simplistic.
Here’s a dirty secret about Jewish journalism: a number of the stories we write aren’t really Jewish in nature. A story may be about a Jew, but other than that, there often isn’t much else of Jewish substance in many of the stories we print.
Editors hate it when you pitch a story whose sole qualification for being published is that your subject is Jewish. But the reality is that mainstream Jewish publications would not exist if we didn’t run these stories.