A Panorama of Jewish Identity
“United Colors of Judaica,” by artist Eliahou Eric Bokobza, promises both deep contemplation and artistic expertise
What is your Jewish identity? This question is often answered with fond memories of one’s Bar Mitzvah or of celebrating Hanukkah. While these aspects of Judaism and tradition are all valuable and valid, what lies beneath that scratch of the 'Jewish identity' surface? In “Multiple Jewish Identities: A New Perspective,” artist Eliahou Eric Bokobza uses his pen and paintbrush to examine this very question, constructing an exhibition rooted in his personal heritage yet applicable to, as the title suggests, the nuances of Jewish identity. In exploration of this theme, you’ll be transported by Judaic imagery and art through three distinct sections.
La Famiglia, depicted as a Shabbat table to represent national festivals and family dramas, is emblazoned with details from the artist’s 'borrowed heritage' – a Jew born in Paris to Tunisian parents. Travel next to Holidays (Festivals) where eight paintings deconstruct Jewish holidays and rebuild them with a new lens of modern Jewish experience from around the world. Finally, arrive at Lifecycle, four diptychs of the pivotal moments in life that shape Jewish identity.
Along the way, throughout the standalone sections, you're not alone. There is one thematic presence that appears throughout – the artist’s alter ego. He takes the form of an ageless man with large, inquisitive eyes, becoming a “fellow traveler with whom the visitor to the exhibition undertakes the journey, someone with whom they can identify with.”