Photography exhibit documents the lives of Scottish Jews.
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An older woman holding a worn volume of Robert Burns poetry looks up from her book to gaze directly at the camera, her face etched with deep lines that suggest a smile. She’s at a Burns supper — held all over Scotland and now around the world — to celebrate the life and work of the Scottish national poet on his birthday. This dinner is at the L’Chaim, Scotland’s only kosher restaurant.
The large-scale photographs in Sharon Ya’ari’s first solo exhibit at the Andrea Meislin Gallery beg for explanation. Why, for instance, is there a smoky haze in the two images called “Rashi Street, Tel Aviv?”
Think photos of the Lower East Side and you might well conjure up Jacob Riis’ grainy black and white images, Hebrew signs hanging from stoop steps, pushcarts lining crowded streets. Or perhaps you’re remembering more recent images ‒ burnt-out buildings, gangs and cigarette butts hanging from slack mouths during the ’70s. Maybe for you, the Lower East Side is all about discount Sunday shopping in the ‘80s. But it’s not the old neighborhood anymore, as Sally Davies’ “Photographs of the Lower East Side” -- now on view on 57th Street -- at the Bernarducci Meisel Gallery make clear.
On the coldest day this month, I stepped onto Brighton Beach and contemplated my identity. I am not a member of the Polar Bear Club. I hate being cold! Rather, I was participating in a “Casual Conversation” in the warmth of the lobby of the JCC in Manhattan.
The effect of personal history in an artist’s oeuvre, the role of metaphor, the extent to which an artist can decipher or explain her own work – these are all questions that come to mind when viewing Yudith Schreiber’s photographs in “Blind Impress,” currently on exhibit at The Jewish Theological Seminary.
An empty yellow-and-white lounge chair graces the ungroomed grass and ferns surrounding the mildewed indoor pool at Grossinger’s. Not so long ago the grass was terracotta tiles and there were rows of chairs, a guest on each.
After having lived in Israel for a few years, Andrea Meislin has become an advocate of Israeli photography and the group show now on view in her eponymous gallery is a testimony to that devotion. Over half the works featured in “Perchance to Dream,” which address themes of sleep and intimacy, are by Israeli artists; and unfairly or not, association with Israel brings with it a specific political and international urgency.
Vivid purple, yellow and green feathers grow out of his face, peacock feathers crown his head, and green feathers wrap around his neck. A beard pokes through and a trenchcoat covers his body. An avian humanoid or a man in a Purim costume?