Spanish Rabbi Rabbi Dancing Home Rabbi in Red under a Blue Moon
Click images above for larger image, title, etc.

"The Twelve Tribes of Israel", Oil on wood, 1996
Rabbis

Rabbi Dan and Jeremiah Lockwood

"Kol Nidre (Rabbi Dan with Jeremiah Lockwood)", 26" x 18", 2015

Rabbi Lincoln Portrait by Jonathan Blum
Rabbi Lincoln at the Brooklyn Bridge oil on monoprint collage, 26" x 16", 2013
Click for close-up

A Canadian Goose Having a Vision in Prospect Park

"A Canadian Goose Having a Vision in Prospect Park", oil on wood, 18" x 24", 2012

A Rabbi, a Nun, and an Imam Lost in Flowers
"A Rabbi, a Nun, and an Imam Lost in Flowers"
Oil painting on a monoprint collage, 2007

Rabbi with Pigeon

"Rabbi With Pigeon - Find Us Peace", Monoprint, 22"X30", 2008

Rabbi Lost in Flowers

"Rabbi Lost in Flowers", Monoprint, 14"X18", 2007

Cousins

"Cousins", Oil on Canvas, 2002

The Encounter: Beagle with Pomegranite Meets Rabbi

"The Encounter: Beagle with Pomegranite Meets Rabbi", Oil on wood, 2005

A Peace Offering- Rabbi with Gumballs by Jonathan Blum

"A Peace Offering"
Oil on monoprint collage on wood, 14" x 24", 2002

Tolerance

I am a rabbi painter. What started off as a doodle I did while studying at a yeshiva in Jerusalem in 1994 has become my most consistent and popular image.

I've been a portrait painter since 1986, when I started creating "forehead portraits" that captured my subjects—including real and imaginary people, historical figures, animals, and Sesame Street's Bert—from the eyes up.

In 1994, the rabbi portraits were a spiritual and stylistic breakthrough for me. The elongated, bearded visage of the rabbis conveyed so much history and so much wisdom, I felt that I couldn't do justice to them without giving them mouths. So with these rabbi portraits, I began to expand my cropped portraits to represent more of the face.

I haven't stopped painting my fictitious rabbis since I started. My relationship to them is always changing, but they all tend to walk the fine line between being reverent and being playful. Sometimes the power is in the juxtaposition of who the rabbi is paired with. In Tolerance, Bert and the Rabbi have settled their differences because they have each come to accept who the other really is. Sometimes they must confront serious issues by engaging in meaningful dialogue. Putting The Rabbi, the Imam and the Nun Together on the Brooklyn Bridge envisions such a dialogue. And a painting like The Bar Mitzvah of Jesus Christ recognizes the interconnectedness of all religious faiths. The Rabbi with Gumballs equates gumballs to a peace offering, an offering that can be seen as overly idealistic or naive. But I would respond that the pursuit of peace is always worthwhile regardless of how unattainable it may seem.

Rabbi Blessing a Basketball by Jonathan Blum

"Rabbi Blessing a Basketball (Bar-Mitzvah invitation for Aidan Schmall)", oil on wood, 28" x 14", 2015

Spanish Rabbi by Jonathan Blum

"Spanish Rabbi", oil on monoprint collage, 24" x 12, 2011

A Rabbi, a Nun, and an Imam Taking a Stroll on the Brooklyn Bridge
"A Rabbi, a Nun, and an Imam Taking a Stroll on the Brooklyn Bridge"
Monoprint collage, 2010

Rabbi Leaving Mataro Spain by Jonathan Blum

"Rabbi leaving Mataro, Spain in 1492", oil on wood, 18"X24", 2011

An Ostrich with Pear Trying to Impress a Rabbi
"An Ostrich with Pear Trying to Impress a Rabbi", Monoprint 22"X30", 2004
Rabbi
"Rabbi", Oil on wood, 1994

 

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