- Community of Residence: Newton
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: www.22portals.com
- Artist Biography: I am originally from Indiana and have been in the Boston area for over 20 years. I’m a self-taught painter, entrepreneur and perhaps an occasional mystic descended from a family of Eastern European rabbis. In my day job, I’m the founder, co-owner and creative director of the international toy company Crocodile Creek. For many years I have also been engaged in studying Jewish texts and in that time period, I’ve also been leading several study groups in a line-by-line parsing of the Torah. I currently also co-lead the local Jewish spiritual community, Shabbat by the Creek. These last few years, I have returned to my art practice, creating non-representational art that is hopefully unique and evocative, drawing on my own experiences, my sense of mystery and my ongoing engagement with ancient Jewish texts.
- Artist Statement : ‘The goal of knowledge is not knowing’ Baal Shem Tov
more than visual expression; it is a process of meditation and listening. I paint with acrylics and ink on
canvas and use a very simple palette. Most of my life I’ve had a sense that at the boundaries of what we
know is a certain mystery that calls out to us. We may sense it at times, but we neither know it nor can
name it. When I stand before a canvas and paint, I often try to tap into that mystery. I hope my paintings
can be seen as both universal and particular, that they can be seen as simple pieces of beauty, mysterious
yet holding within them meanings that can resonate in different ways with different viewers and
My art is often informed by my relationship to the Torah. For over 40 years I have been engaged in a
very slow and close reading of the Torah, both individually and with others. I have come to see the Torah
as bearing the possibility of revealing itself in surprising ways. Through painting, I embark on a visual
conversation with the ideas of the ancient text, exploring such themes as the creation of order out of
chaos, the creation of light, and the idea that the world as we know it was shaped by language. My work
is also often informed by the fact that the Hebrew language came into being at the time of transition from
pictographic to phonetic writing. Each Hebrew letter holds a symbolic meaning that will never be fully
My paintings are a visual extension of the Jewish interpretive tradition of sacred texts called Midrash.
The Torah, as an ancient text with its sparse and evocative language, has led to centuries of learning and
probing not only by Jews, but by Christians and Moslems too. Throughout the millennia people have
sought to understand both what is said and what is left unsaid — in the letters, words, and stories of the
Torah and in the silences in between words. I also honor the ancient Jewish tradition of creating art that is
non-representational, following an interpretation of the Torah’s prohibition against the creation of
images. This idea, embedded in both Jewish and Islamic culture, honors the fact that life is never static.
Despite our attempts to steady it, control it, categorize it, or name it. I in the end life is fluid and elusive.
All that remains is the mystery that some call G-d or יהוה. I hope that viewers might see a certain simple
beauty in my art that touches the mystery within all of us, yielding even a fleeting moment of awe or