Baskind notes that even artists noted for irony and satire, such as Jack Levine and Larry Rivers (born Yitzroch Loiza Grossberg), produced ardent visual interpretations of the Tanakh. The former artist set out to paint a tribute to his late father in “Planning Solomon’s Temple,” depicting his father as Shlomo and himself as Hiram, both labeled with Hebrew inscriptions above their figures. Unlike Levine’s usual oozingly curvaceous figure drawing, a style suited to his oft-decadent subject matter, the two figures are depicted on a single plane, in an archaic visual statement echoing Christian-inspired works by the fauvist painter Georges Rouault. Whereas Levine’s Hiram is generally seen as the royal architect and king of Tyre, who sent building materials and laborers to construct the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem, Baskind plausibly argues that Levine may have painted himself as a different biblical Hiram, an artist who was the son of a Tyrian who cast bronze and made decorations for Solomon’s Temple.
Saturday, August 2, 2014
BIBLE NEWS: Jewish Artists Inspired by the Bible
The Bible has inspired great art for thousands of years, and a new book traces the impact of the Bible on Jewish artists in particular. Both faithful followers of Judaism and secular decedents of Abraham use the scriptures as a lens thru which to express themselves and interpret life.