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Chassidic Pop Art

Chassidic Pop Art

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If orange socks don’t come to mind when you think of an Orthodox rabbi, then you haven’t met Hasidic pop artist Rabbi Yitzchok Moully.

"You don’t need big dreads or tattoos to define individuality,” said Moully, known as the Pop Art Rabbi. “In truth, Judaism really asks us to find ourselves within the experience. It’s not about being a carbon copy. It’s asking us to find personal meaning within Judaism.”

The public is invited to an exhibition of Moully’s work titled “Pop Art,” which will be on display at 7 p.m. on December 13th at Chabad Jewish Center.

Moully will be on hand to lead a dialogue about his work and how it relates to his spirituality and religion. Light refreshments will be available.

Moully challenges preconceived notions. His art allows for an innovative way to exchange interpretations. The artist’s work is the perfect platform for him to channel his energetic ideas, which translate into thought-provoking images.

“I want my work to be a conversation piece. It’s not your grandparent’s Hasidic art. It’s a way for contemporary Jews and contemporary Americans to connect with each other.”

Shabbat candlesticks, for example, which can be handed down generations in a family, share a canvas with a Zippo lighter. A Kiddush cup is next to a martini glass; a Torah next to an e-reader. Vibrant colors re-interpret ageless tradition.

“It’s relatable,” Moully said. “It’s connectable. It’s understandable. You can find meaning in it, yet it’s not high-brow or aloof.”

Moully was born in Australia, the son of a couple he describes as “hippy parents.” While he never went through formal art training, he was always passionate about photography as an outlet of self-expression. About 10 years ago, he discovered silk-screen printing, which allowed him to print brilliantly colored images in a style he calls Hasidic pop art.

As a youth rabbi in New Jersey, he sees his work as a way to share his view of the Hasidic lifestyle and dispel images that it is rigid.

“There’s so much color on the inside,” he said. “So much personality.”

Moully says his work is infused with hope — hope that his images challenge, broaden or empower notions about faith and religion. And hope that his images will encourage a smile and bring joy.

Which is why he wears orange socks.

Click  HERE to RSVP for this event! 

 

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