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Yaacov Kaszemacher

Updated: Jun 23, 2019

The French-born son of Polish parents, I was raised in a completely secular home in post-war Paris. I frequented the small nightclubs in the St. Germain des Pres and associated with the musicians, artists, and philosophers of first the beat generation and then the flower children.

Essentially self-taught, I learned about art by experimenting with different mediums and techniques. My personal style quickly evolved: bold colors, hard-edge, constructionist; expressing mathematical and mystical themes.

After a spiritual awakening in 1971, I immigrated to Israel, and made the transition from hippie to Torah-observant Hassid. I added a kabbalistic and Jewish content to my work, which became a meditative support. Each design has multi-layered religious significance. Many of my pieces are circular or concentric and can actually be used as mandalas - mystical circles painted as visual stimulation for meditation. I want each person to discover his own meaning and understanding by viewing, contemplating and meditating.

While my geometric art is intellectual, combining the universal wisdom of geometry with the numerical concepts in Torah, my photography is emotional, capturing images and evoking feelings about Israel, Zefat, Jewish, Israeli and Hassidic life. Photography is an opportunity to freeze memories and impressions. Photographs are a great means for instant communication of mood, emotion and statement.

I want to portray the eternal aspects of current religious Jewish life. My pictures exclude contemporary objects and leave the viewer with an uncertainty as to when the photograph was executed, now or in a bygone era before the war. Thus we see the timelessness of the Torah life and the continuation of a living, vital and vibrant community.

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