Artists Karen Kassap, Tina Marcus, and Steven Rudin offer insight into their creative processes and share the impact of the current social order on the psychological and spiritual content of their work. These artists present their recent work and discuss how they have addressed the notion of Creativity in an Uncertain Time. This series aired live on Zoom, Tuesday, February 23, 2021.
Curated by Dorit Jordan Dotan and Judith Joseph. In addition to the curators, this program is produced with the support of Jewish Art Salon’s Program Advisor Yona Verwer, and team members Cheselyn Amato and Chana Wiesenthal-Elias.
About the artists:
Karen Kassap is a mixed media collage artist based in Woodbridge, Connecticut. Her works explore ideas of female empowerment, and the dichotomy between the freedom and confinement of the idealized woman. Her work grows out of her experiences as a woman, mother, wife and a Jew. Her work is made mostly from papers she has created with paint, pen, pencils and other mark making techniques. The many layers of her work are sometimes barely visible to the viewer, but knowledge of their existence is a mystery that draws one in. Patient observation may be rewarded with a glimpse of what lies beneath the surface, just as intimacy makes visible the hidden layers of oneself. Most recently, she has begun a series which is a personal response to the pandemic and relies on Medieval manuscript iconography, and totemic imagery. This work continues to represent her identity as a Jewish woman in times that try our faith.
Tina Marcus describes her works as soul-selfies. Whereas people today are taking pictures of themselves with their phones, she is painting snapshots of personal, defining moments. Tina’s multi-medium assemblages are her selfies. Her works focus on the human figure documenting historical and spiritual experiences while exploring conditions and circumstances with themes revolving around aging, solitude, isolation, and ambiguity. Working mostly with powdered pigments, spray paint, modeling medium, and flooding her canvases with water and varnishes, Tina’s approach is grounded in the unexpected, spontaneity, chance, and experimentation. The joy and excitement of producing art, for Tina, comes from the unpredictable. Currently, she chairs the Chagall Society housed within the Jewish Federation of Raleigh-Cary. Her paintings have been exhibited at Duke University and in galleries in North Carolina. Her works are in both private and corporate collections and she looks forward to her two upcoming exhibitions.
Steven Rudin is a visual artist, teacher, and psychiatrist based in New York City. Rudin reimagines hand-cut paper collage as a metaphor for memory and identity. His multilayered compositions draw viewers into a dialogue about the dynamic nature of the mind. Based on his expertise in cognitive behavioral therapy, his art philosophy examines how stories can be put together in different ways using the same parts. His exhibitions, talks, and classes encourage participants to visualize their inner lives as collage. In mid-2017, Rudin made the shift to art full time after nearly two decades in clinical, academic, and leadership positions at Columbia University. He holds degrees from Columbia University, Cornell University, and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. As adjunct faculty at the Art Students League of New York, Rudin leads workshops delving into collage as memoir. His work has been exhibited internationally in galleries, public spaces, and art fairs.
The Jewish Art Salon (JAS) is a 501.c.3 non-profit organization. It is a global network of contemporary visual artists and art professionals. Established in 2008 and based in New York City, JAS has over 400 members and over 2,000 participants. Through its 60+ shows, events and collaborations in the US, Europe and Israel, JAS has reached approximately 30,000 individuals since its inception. JAS provides important programs and resources, and develops lasting partnerships with the international art community and the general public.