This series explores a corpus of traditional Judaeo-Arabic maxims from the 2,000 year old Jewish community of Syria. Each painting pairs a phrase with a contemporary location or issue, giving the old words new and layered meanings while exploring the cultural overlap that Arab Jews represent. The paintings make old-world wisdom relevant to the next generation and offer insights into current political and social issues. The scenes depicted give a window into the cultural mosaic that makes up the Artist’s experience as a Syrian Jew raised in Brooklyn with strong ties to Israel. They offer a different approach to the way we contemplate Arab-Jewish relations while celebrating a rich Middle-Eastern cultural heritage.
Sayings from the Jewish-Arab tradition paint a vivid portrait of a world that disappeared during the last century after over two millennia of continuity. The ancient wisdom that they give over can often have surprising and insightful applications to contemporary realities.
View her work at www.LenoreCohen.com and follow works in progress on instagram @LenoreCohen