Friday, May 11, 2007

Beth Grossman

Yellow BadgePhoto of Mary of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is courtesy of San Francisco based artist Beth Grossman who wrote to me the following:
Mary of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob
© Beth Grossman 1996
21" x 27" x 13"
Mixed media on suitcase

Mary is the daughter of the Jewish people and the mother of the Christian people. Could this perspective have altered the treatment of Jews during World War II?

I have painted Mary in a suitcase, shielding Jesus from the war in this century. Mary was forced to flee during her time to protect her son, when the Romans were killing young Jewish children. The suitcase implies history repeating itself as Jews have been exiled throughout time.

The yellow star has symbolic importance to both Judaism and Christianity. For Jews it has dual symbolism: one of great pride as the Star of David and one of being a target for Nazi oppression. I have depicted stereotypes the Nazis pinned on Jews on the left side of the suitcase and the qualities attributed to Mary, also a Jew, on the right side. Through Mary we see the duality of human beings.

Here is a brief bio about my work as an artist:

Beth Grossman is a San Francisco based artist who integrates stories and history into her artwork of painted images and text on everyday objects. A common thread in her artwork is re-contextualized stories and interpretation of history. She has shown her work in museums nationally and has worked on interactive, collaborative art projects at national monuments, rivers, parks and street sites in the United States, China, Russia and Germany. 

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