“The Bridge” connected the shopping centers of my suburban youth to the west, with fuzzy memories of the “Old Neighborhoods” in the Bronx. And “The Bridge” spanned over even fuzzier, inherited memories, of hunger and persecution in the Shtetls of the Old Country, and farther east, backwards and forwards in time to our little corner in the Middle East. Memories of the Exodus from Egypt and dancing horas in kibbutzim.
Somehow, at age 11, I came up with this wacky idea to live in Israel, the ultimate Old Country. I now live in Jerusalem. Like so many other immigrants, I live suspended the twin towers of two languages and two cultures. My early bourgeois expectations face the harsher realities of the Middle East. My secular ambitions struggle to balance with my religious aspirations.
I create art.
Once again, I straddle two competing worlds: My commitment to laws of Judaism on one hand, and the demands for openness and unbridled imagination in art. There are a few more conflict zones in my artwork: I love “serious” intellectual art, but I also love joyful messing around with layers of decoration and paint; I like strong messages and expressionistic images, but I also suffer from and clearly enjoy “horror vacui” in art. (That means that I like filling up every centimeter with polka dots and checkers.) I try to keep both sides of me satisfied, but it is hard work.
A bit of trivia about me:
Married for 25 years; dad to 3 very nice and very talented kids, left-handed, bicycle to work, never wear a suit and tie. I have a fondness for puns, idiosyncrasies of languages and very dark chocolate.
And some professional trivia:
- Born in NY in 1956. Immigrated to Israel in 1980.
- Studies: BA History and Master of Social Work, Yeshiva University, NY; Graphic Art Design, Bezalel Academy, Jerusalem; Etching and Silk Screen Printing, Jerusalem Print workshop; Painting master class, Orna Millo.
- Solo Shows: Maskit and Etzion Galleries, Israel; 2 shows at JCC on the Palisades, NJ; JCC of Northern Virginia.
- Group Show: Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha NE.
- Prizes: Gold Prize for my Jewish Art Calendar at the Frankfort International Book Fair; Gold and Bronze prizes for Art Calendars, Ministry of Industry in conjunction with the Israeli Society of Graphic Designers.
- Art Commissions: Cong. Or Ami Lafayette Hill, PA; Temple Beth El, Chappaqua, NY, private collections.
- In 1986, I founded C. Mazal Art Ltd. publishers of greeting cards, small gifts, and popularly priced art prints. My goal was to bring the values of quality Judaica, to the wider public and to everyday use.
- Illustration work for major fundraising organizations: Hadassah, Jewish National Fund in Israel, France & Netherlands, Wizo, Israel Bonds, The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, Jewish Federations in the US and Canada.