Constanza Garcia was looking to book New York performances for “Klezmer en Buenos Aires” — a tango-inflected klezmer duo that she promotes. She immediately thought of Makor, the cultural center on the Upper West Side that caters to Jews in their 20s and 30s.
“I thought Makor would be the right place for klezmer,” Garcia says. But Makor passed.
Judaism can come in the most unexpected of packages. At first glance, a nearly seven-foot-tall painting of a single thick black stripe running vertically across a black canvas signifies nothing but itself: a profound meditation on color and form. Yet Barnett Newman titled his 1949 painting "Abraham," after his father, who had died two years earlier, and the Jewish patriarch.
For over 20 years, Elizabeth Swados has worked with youngsters of all backgrounds in musicals such as her '70s Broadway hit "Runaways." And she has collaborated with others to compose liturgical music like her '95 album "Bible Women." But one group was noticeably missing.
"I never worked with people who had the same background," she told The Jewish Week in a telephone interview. "I wanted to see what teenage middle-class Jewish girls had to say about sexuality, body image, relationships, and the influence of Jewish tradition."
Speaking before several dozen people munching on babaganoush and taboule and chatting away in Arabic, Hebrew, Spanish and English, the Lebanese novelist Elias Khoury invoked the hallowed name of Al-Andalus.
"And if we do not find it, we can build it in our hearts," he said at the reception for a literary event last week in the Soho studio of Iraqi-born sculptor Oded Halahmy.
Hoping to stir up a little debate on a somewhat taboo topic, art critic Max Kozloff has mounted a historical exhibition of street photography that dares to define a Jewish aesthetic. "New York: Capital of Photography," at The Jewish Museum through September, argues that there're two kinds of New York photography: Jewish and gentile.
"It's totally provocative," Kozloff says, chuckling to himself during an interview at the press opening.
At the height of their contest for Cezanne's mantle as the leader of the French avant-garde, Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso agreed to swap pictures. Over the previous two years, Paris' leading provocateur Matisse had steadily ceded ground to the newcomer Picasso, until the fall of 1907, when the two men were deadlocked.
They say the average age of the Friars Club is deceased, but a surprising number of new members are not yet collecting Social Security, let alone pushing up daisies. For the third year running, the annual Roast has shined a spotlight on a Friars Club in transition. Once a smoky lunchtime festival of bad taste held behind locked doors, the Roast is now a glitzy, black tie, made-for-television event that fills the Grand Ballroom of the New York Hilton. With ticket prices starting at $250, nearly 2,000 guests gathered Oct.
Vitaly Komar, clad in all black, huffed up the stairs of the Center for Jewish History with a reporter in tow. “I like this place,” said the one half of an internationally known Russian artist team. “It’s like a club house, not white and antiseptic like most museums that can feel like a hospital.”
In 1999, before the intifada deepened Israeli and Palestinian mutual distrust, Israeli artists Bosmat Alon and Tirtza Even visited the West Bank to shoot a video critical of Israeli policies to curtail Palestinian life.
Introduced by Israeli leftist activists to former political prisoners and ordinary families, Alon and Even spent months in the contested outskirts of Hebron and the cramped streets of the Deheishe camp near Bethlehem.