Articles in Category: Archie Rand

Mourning, Memory & Art

Written on August 08, 2011

Destruction of Jerusalem by David Roberts

David Roberts (1796-1864) was a Scottish painter who in the late 1830’s traveled extensively in the Levant and Egypt documenting “Orientalist” sites in drawings and watercolors. Together with the lithographer Louis Haghe, he marketed his work to a public eager for exotic scenes.  Queen Victoria was one of his first customers.

The Image before the Text
The 613: Paintings by Archie Rand

Written on April 03, 2008

326 & 327, details of The 613, acrylic on canvas by Archie Rand Courtesy the artist

First there was the word.  It was spoken on the mountain and we were afraid.  Then it was written fire on fire.  And we lost faith.  Over the years Moshe wrote it down and we thought the word was tamed.  We thought we knew it so we ignored it.  So we lost our Temple and our Land.  The 613, over the years mostly observed but mysterious, observed now, thousands of years later, distant and holy.

Rand's Prayer

Written on December 28, 2004

Twelfth Amidah Theme: Punish Heresy: Jepthah (2002), acrylic on canvas (48 x 64) by Archie Rand

The Nineteen Diaspora Paintings

Why should we bother with art? A waste of time, bitul Torah, perhaps even a lure into apikores....viewing art, not to mention making it, could be viewed as a can of worms best left unopened. Alas, our tradition is to follow the ways of our forefathers and since Bezalel, the Jews of Dura Europos, Bet Alpha and countless other pious Jews for two thousand years have partaken of the visual arts, it becomes our sacred duty to explore both our inheritance and those who continue to create Jewish art.

Archie Rand - Jewish Enough

Written on March 25, 2004

I'm Here

This is it. This is the one exhibition that you must see if contemporary Jewish Art matters at all. Archie Rand has been bravely creating radical Jewish art for at the last twenty years, challenging both the contemporary art establishment and the purveyors of Jewish culture. As a consequence of this insolence he has been exiled to what amounts to a critical wilderness. It is time to redeem him from exile, time for the Jewish public to take note and acknowledge the accomplishments of the foremost creator of Jewish art working today. Our cultural future depends upon it.

Archie Rand and the B’nai Yosef Murals Part 3

Written on April 22, 2002

I'm Here

The Painted Shul

In 1978, almost a year after Archie Rand had finished the upstairs murals at the B’nai Yosef synagogue in Brooklyn, he was invited to create additional murals downstairs in the two study halls. The pomp and ceremony of the Holidays and Sabbaths were represented upstairs in an open and expansive space, but downstairs was a weekday, down-to-earth affair. In these rooms, enclosed and intimate, there was a constant flow and presence of male Jews in over ten consecutive minyans conducted every morning, noon and evening. The study hall, occupied all day by men learning Torah, is the creative hub of Torah knowledge in this and every synagogue complex. In this different environment Rand altered his aesthetic strategy. What he created was a sanctuary of security and beauty.

Archie Rand and the B’nai Yosef Murals Part 2

Written on April 16, 2002

I'm Here

The Painted Shul

“Stylistic unity is blasphemy in synagogue decoration. Such unity becomes an act of hubris on the part of the artist,” declares artist Archie Rand, explaining the aesthetics of the wildly diverse murals at the B’nai Yosef synagogue in Brooklyn. His unique artistic and theological vision arises out of a volatile mix of late Modernist aesthetics known as Postmodernism, Rand’s fascination with esoteric religious symbolism and his weakness for Pop Art irreverence.

Archie Rand and the B’nai Yosef Murals Part 1

Written on April 08, 2002

I'm Here

The Painted Shul

At the corner of Ocean Parkway and Avenue P in Brooklyn stands Congregation B’nai Yosef, a distinguished Sephardi synagogue affectionately known as the “Painted Shul.” From the street it is an unremarkable structure; a freestanding early nineteen-seventies building sporting a three-story brick façade. But once you ascend to the main sanctuary one flight up you have entered a transformed space.