The paintings, drawings and mixed media works I created for the Holocaust Series are a response to documentary images in the public domain or photographs I have made at sites in Europe. The work is realistic, descriptive interpretive and expressive. It is my intent to use the appearance of a documentary photograph or a news photo for its direct factual associations but shift the viewer’s attention to specific areas of interest within the work to heighten its emotional intensity. The message is important. The first impression must be clear, direct and unambiguous. But there also needs to be an emotional connection that goes beyond the horror of the facts presented. To achieve that result I combine realism with abstract elements such as textured surfaces, aggressive gestural marking and symbolic references to fire, smoke, wind, and atmospheric turbulence. To further enhance the accessibility of these shocking representations I make use of compositions based on traditional liturgical designs. On occasion I have also constructed actual objects that make direct reference to the objects in the images in the paintings.
There should be no doubt as to what is portrayed and where the artist stands in relation to the moral implications of the situation presented.
I have titled the entire body of work The Holocaust Series. I consider it in its entirety homage to the millions of Jewish victims and others wantonly murdered by the Nazis during WWII. I believe this calamity was the defining moment of evil in our time. As a Jew I am angered by the knowledge that anti-Semitism could have so completely dominated a society thus making possible the genocide of European Jewry by the Third Reich. I am outraged by the perpetuation of anti-Semitism even as knowledge of the atrocities of the Holocaust become more widely known and accepted as fact. I am angered by the passive indifference displayed by individuals, societies and governments in the face of intolerance and bigotry.
Art can not successfully compete with political power. It can however act as a moral compass and it does create an expressive, emotional record of a culture’s social and political attitudes. The Holocaust occurred more than sixty five years ago. Since then we have had “Police Actions”, colonial wars, and numerous civil wars. Today we remain confronted with the political realities of ethnic cleansing, intimidation, mass killings and terrorism in our daily lives. If we are ever to have a more humane society people must finally and fully accept the truth that prejudice and militarism result in gore not glory. Each of us can, in some way, make a contribution toward decreasing prejudice in our communities and in some cases the world at large.As an artist and teacher I use my work to play a small part in that quest.
THE HOLOCAUST SERIES IS AVAILABLE AS A TRAVELING EXHIBITION. THERE IS NO RENTAL FEE. EXHIBITORS COVER ROUND TRIP SHIPPING AND INSURANCE. CONTACT THE ARTIST DIRECTLY FOR SPECIFIC DETAILS.