saw it all in the mirror
Daniel Rolnik bills himself as “The World’s Most Adorable Art Critic,” and if you speak to him for even a minute, it’s easy to see why. Animated, passionate, whimsical and delightfully upbeat, Rolnik, 24, has made it his mission to introduce people to new and exciting artists, and more recently, to Judaism as well.
There’s an old saying that goes something like this: We spend the first half of our lives running away from home and the rest trying to get back. Consider Homer, way back in ancient Greece, who defined our notion of a life’s odyssey as a journey that begins and ends at home.
An Italian artist reportedly placed a statue of Adolf Hitler in a building outside what used to be the Warsaw Ghetto.
Artists and designers in the United States and Israel are broadening and updating the ways in which we pay tribute to Judah Maccabee through the emblematic menorah, commemorating the miraculous endurance of the fabled lighting oil and the resilience that keeps Judaism’s fire lit, so to speak.
In a small gallery in an ancient house in the village of Qalandiya, between Ramallah and Jerusalem, Khaled Jarrar stands alongside his latest art project placed on a podium: a small soccer ball made of cement.
It’s an age-old, common dilemma faced by adult children of aging parents: What is the right thing to do when those parents begin to lose their faculties? That theme is at the heart of “Surviving Mama,” by playwright Sonia Levitin, which opens Oct. 12 at the Edgemar Center for the Arts in Santa Monica.
As the citizens of the United States enter the home stretch of the quadrennial presidential elections, the Skirball Cultural Center is presenting four simultaneous exhibitions to show how the experiment in American democracy was born and how it is faring some 236 years later.
Daniel Joseph Martinez has a question, or, rather, he wants you to have one. Well-known as one of the art world’s favorite provocateurs, the Los Angeles native and resident has brought his unique brand of art-as-conversation-piece to Culver City’s Roberts & Tilton Gallery for his first L.A. gallery exhibition in a decade, “I Am a Verb.” But why is Martinez, a non-Jewish artist, getting coverage in the Jewish Journal? Well that’s simple, really; one of the works he made for the show is a series of photos of a hunchbacked, masked man with the Shema tattooed on his chest, along with a Muslim prayer inscribed in Arabic on one arm and a Catholic prayer in Latin on the other.
Last April, just inside the entrance to the “Salute to Israel” Festival at Rancho Park, the National Council of Jewish Women set up a large tented area where it sold all sorts of secondhand items from its thrift stores: clothes, Judaica, kitchenware, art.
West Hollywood’s celebration of the written word features more than 220 authors and artists. Speakers include “Saturday Night Live” alum Rachel Dratch (“Girl Walks Into a Bar”) and comedy writer David Misch (“Funny: The Book”); Journal columnist Bill Boyarsky (“Inventing L.A.”); political commentators Robert Scheer (“The Great American Stickup”) and Nancy L. Cohen (“Delirium”); novelists David Brin (“Existence”), Seth Greenland (“The Angry Buddhist”), Tod Goldberg (“Living Dead Girl”), Gregg Hurwitz (“The Survivor”), Stephen Jay Schwartz (“Beat”) and Jerry Stahl (“Pain Killers”); and children’s writers Amy Goldman Koss (“Side Effects”) and Eugene Yelchin (“Breaking Stalin’s Nose”).
The sukkah in the backyard of Leat Silvera’s home in the Beverlywood neighborhood of Los Angeles is up a little early this year. It’s not because she’s trying to get a jump on the holidays; it’s because she needs a place to look at her work — three large sukkah wall hangings that she designed herself.
In her solo show, “Silent Witnesses,” Stephanie Satie portrays four women, all childhood survivors of the Holocaust, who share their stories as a celebration of the human spirit. The idea for the play, which will be staged on Sept. 20 at the South Pasadena Library, came to Satie when she was performing at a fundraiser for Child Survivors of the Holocaust, Los Angeles.
As you approach the Barbara Mendes Gallery on South Robertson Boulevard, you know you’re in for an experience. The brightly colored, psychedelic exterior of the little gallery in the SoRo neighborhood doesn’t cry out Jewish art, and neither does the gallery’s proprietor at first glance. Barbara Mendes looks every bit the ex-hippie, from her tie-dyed clothes to her funky glasses, but when she opens her mouth and starts chattering about kashrut and the Tehillim, you realize that you’re speaking to a woman who’s been on a journey to finding her very Jewish self and her Jewish art.
The best-selling author of “Tuesdays With Morrie” and “The Five People You Meet in Heaven” sits down with Rabbi David Wolpe to discuss his new book, “The Time Keeper.”
When Aaron Henne decided to form a new Jewish theater company, he knew he needed to push boundaries and make bold statements to challenge the traditional image of what constitutes Jewish theater. So now, with its first major production, Henne’s aptly named Theatre Dybbuk is attempting just that, with “Cave … A Dance for Lilith,” a collaborative, imaginative piece conceived in partnership with the L.A. Contemporary Dance Company.
This has been a good year for filmmaker Ira Sachs. His new feature, "Keep the Lights On," received a nomination for the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and won the prestigious Teddy Award at the Berlin International Film Festival. And while the intensely personal, autobiographical film centers on a tumultuous love affair between two men, Sachs believes audiences will relate to the human experience of relationships shared by all couples.
Of all the incendiary books that have been written about Israel over the last year or so, none is quite as fiery as "Israel: The Will to Prevail" by Danny Danon (Palgrave Macmillan: $26).
The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay" and "The Yiddish Policemen's Union" appears in person to read passages from his new novel "Telegraph Avenue." Set in Berkeley at the end of the summer of 2004, record store co-owners Archy Stallings and Nat Jaffe and their midwife wives, Gwen Shanks and Aviva Roth-Jaffee, face personal and professional problems that test the strength of their relationships and businesses. Writer Mona Simpson ("My Hollywood") leads a post-reading discussion and Q-and-A with Chabon and his wife, author Ayelet Waldman ("Red Hook Road"). Thu. 7:30 p.m. Free. Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 443-7000.
Part of the pleasure of seeing a survey show of contemporary art, such as the summer show “Made in L.A. 2012,” currently at the Hammer Museum, lies in the joy of discovery. There may be artists whose works you recognize, but the WOW!
An artist who recently appeared on Palestinian Authority TV described one of his paintings that featured an ogre—wearing a skullcap with the Star of David—killing children on a bayonet before eating them, Palestinian Media Watch reported.
Seventy years ago this week, 15-year-old Annie Kriegel was sitting in her Paris high school classroom, taking an exam, when her mother suddenly burst into the room and warned her not to come home—the Nazis were preparing to round up and deport any Jews they could get their hands on.
Gustav Klimt is best known for his famous golden paintings, portraits of society women adorned in jewels and cloaked in gold, and for the flat two-dimensionality of his work that led many to declare it superficial and merely decorative. The Getty exhibition “Gustav Klimt: The Magic of Line” puts a lie to that characterization, demonstrating how Klimt’s work conveys complex emotions and even allegorical ideals.
When artist Sharon Lockhart traveled to Israel in 2008, she wasn’t searching for Noa Eshkol. The Israeli dance composer and textile artist was not well-known outside her own country. In fact, Eshkol isn’t terribly well-known within Israel, where companies like Batsheva, Inbal, Bat Dor and the Israel Ballet hold far more cachet than Eshkol’s humble troupe.
There’s a vast difference between history and historical fiction. I tend to prefer the latter, finding myself in awe of writers who can carry readers into a world that’s both factual and imagined. Obviously, there’s the underlying question of trust: How do we know when and whether we can trust an author who presents a mélange in which fact and fiction aren’t easily teased apart? We don’t.
The recent regional extravaganza known as Pacific Standard Time (PST), a six-month, far-ranging agglomeration of Southern California exhibitions, installations and performances, began with a series of shows that made a very convincing argument for the importance of art created in Los Angeles from 1945 to 1980.
June 5 marks the 45th anniversary of the Six-Day War, a turning point in Israeli history that, in the popular recollection, brought the new nation a swift, almost painless, victory marked by brilliant Israeli strategy and planning.
Artwork created by children with serious illnesses will be auctioned off, along with works by professional artists and celebrities, at Chai Lifeline’s “Through the Eyes of our Children” on May 21.
Who is the hero of a bar or bat mitzvah? It’s the 13-year-old, who, after a day of chanting, speaking and being bear-hugged by distant relatives, sees himself or herself imbued with powers of memory, eloquence and forbearance far beyond that of ordinary teenagers. But how do you help yours to hold on to that feeling?
Artists and musicians, among others, convened in a West Hollywood loft last spring for an event known as SEDER, the Hebrew word for “order” that also refers to the ritual that accompanies the Passover meal. And while they didn’t celebrate Passover that evening, the attendees did contribute to the narrative of the Jewish people.
I have a pretty open sense of humor, except when it comes to artists utilizing the imagery used to kill more than 6 million of of my Jewish ancestors. Especially since I’ve volunteered with and met many Holocaust survivors who still have numbers tattooed on their arms, from when they were branded like dogs in concentration camps.
In September 2011, the Museum of Children’s Art in Oakland (MOCHA) was expected to open an exhibition called “A Child’s View of Gaza.” The selection of artwork drawn by Palestinian children in the wake of the 2009 Gaza War, known as Operation Cast Lead, had been assembled by MECA, the Middle East Children’s Alliance and was scheduled to stay at the museum for two months.
The Weissensee Jewish Cemetery is 130 years old and has survived the kaiser’s imperial Germany, the Weimar Republic, and, astonishingly, the Nazi regime.
Yossi Klein Halevi talks to UCLA's Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for Israeli Studies.
Tel Aviv's recently expanded modern art museum, with its dazzling new building no less an attraction than the art showcased inside, has given a home to hundreds of displaced Israeli works and helped boost the city's cultural scene.
“Pacific Standard Time,” the sprawling multivenue consideration of Los Angeles art from 1945 to 1980, is, for the most part, a story of artists who thrived here. However, “Naked Hollywood: Weegee in Los Angeles,” which opened Nov. 13 at MOCA Grand Avenue, posits a different narrative, recounting the famed New York photographer’s sojourn in Los Angeles between 1947 and 1952 as a somewhat soured love affair. If Hollywood is indeed a boulevard of broken dreams, then the Weegee show is our tour guide.