Who I Am and What I Do
I was born in Denver, Colorado on the first day of February 1957 and raised in a Modern Orthodox family. I developed a talent for art at an early age, and started to get serious about art as a teenager. I liked the artwork of album covers of 60’s and early 70’s music, which was an early inspiration for me. I was also inspired by mystical art like Eastern mandalas. After graduating from high school in 1975, I attended the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, Rhode Island, for one year. I left art school to study Torah and Jewish mysticism, which I began in Denver with the late Rabbi B. C. S. Twerski.
I immigrated to Israel in 1977 at the age of 20, and spent two years studying Torah in Jerusalem, where I met my wife, Miriam. We got married in 1979 and moved to Zefat . In Zefat, I mostly immersed myself in the study of the Talmud and other classic texts of Judaism as well as Kabbalah, but I continued to make art at night. As early as 1980, I began to produce artwork that was based on Torah concepts in an attempt to integrate Torah and art. I felt that I could make Jewish mandalas. The first piece I produced as a print (The Orchard of the Torah) is based on the design of a Tibetan mandala, and continues to be a top-selling print for me.
After a bout with cancer in 1987 (advanced-stage Hodgkin's disease which I received eight months of aggressive chemotherapy) I started practicing meditation, and discovered that there was such a thing as Jewish Meditation. The books of Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan showed me how meditation is an important part of Kabbalah that has been quite hidden until recently. I started practicing Yoga, and healthy eating, thanks to my wife Miriam, and focusing primarily on the study of Kabbalah. This combination of Kabbalah, meditation, and modern conceptual art produced a large series of kabbalistic/meditative paintings, most of which I executed in watercolors and pen-and-ink.
I developed my own original system of translating kabbalistic concepts into graphic shapes and colors based mostly on Sefer Yetzirah (the Book of Creation), but also inspired from other texts. I have exhibited in North America and Israel, and my works can be found in many homes and art collections around the world.
I often lecture on Kabbalah and Jewish Meditation to many group of teenagers and adults, whether tourists, students or spiritual seekers from around the world. These groups usually find my presentations enjoyable and educational as I use my art to simplify and clarify profound kabbalistic ideas - as they say, 'a picture is worth a thousand words'.
Although I have studied many classical Torah Texts (both conventional and esoteric) I am primarily self-taught, and I prefer the way of the mystic - to be as independent and non-denominational as possible. Two of my main influences in the realm of Kabbalah, whose texts I frequently teach, are the great 18th Century kabbalist, Rabbi Moshe Chayim Luzzatto, and the early 20th Century mystic, Rabbi Abraham Isaac Hakohen Kook.
I continue to live, work and teach in Zefat, Israel with my wife Miriam and our children. We have five children - two still live at home. Three of our children are married, and we have six granddaughters from them so far. My gallery is attached to my home and we love it when people come to visit. I also enjoy playing music with friends. I’ve been playing the mandolin for many years, and I’ve recently taken up the fiddle, and I play the guitar a bit as well. I play mostly Irish music, Old-time and Bluegrass, and some Jewish music. You are most welcome to visit us.