Friday, August 30, 2019

Cincinnati Art Museum: 6,195 miles from Jerusalem, Israel; 228 miles from JerUSAlem, Ohio; or 0 cybermiles

Artist Mel Alexenberg launches cyberangels from Israel to thirty museums throughout the world as an homage to Rembrandt on the 350th anniversary of his death. These museums have Rembrandt inspired artworks by Alexenberg in their collections. At Global Tribute to Rembrandt are posts for each of the museums and texts on the impact of digital culture on art by the artist, former art professor at Columbia University and research fellow at MIT Center for Advanced Visual Studies.



“He had a vision in a dream. A ladder was standing on the ground, its top reaching up towards heaven as Divine angels were going up and down on it.” (Genesis 28:12)
Angels in Jacob’s dream go up from the Land of Israel and go down throughout the world.

Top image: Rembrandt inspired cyberangels arrive from Israel at the Cincinnati Art Museum in time for lunch.  The biblical words for angel and food are spelled with the same four Hebrew letters to teach that angels are spiritual messages arising from everyday life. Perhaps there is spiritual significance that museums that offer art also offer food.

Second image: The cyberangels begin their flight from the Israel Museum's Shrine of the Book in Jerusalem, home of ancient Bible scrolls. They gain momentum by going up from the tallest building in Israel, home of Facebook’s R&D Center, until construction is completed for the 91 story Azrieli Spiral Tower in Tel Aviv with the shape of a Bible scroll.

Third image: Cyberangels spiral up from a NASA satellite image of the Land of Israel on a smartphone screen on Mel Alexenberg’s newest book Through a Bible Lens.  They launch the book throughout the world from the artist/author’s studio in Israel. 
See praise for the book at Israel365.

Bottom image: Alexenberg’s lithograph “Angel Announcing Birth of Samson to Manoah” that has been in the collection of the Cincinnati Art Museum since 1986.  In tribute to Rembrandt on the 350th year of his death, his digitized angels dormant in the museum’s flat files awaken to adorn the cover of the 2019 book Through a Bible Lens: Biblical Insights for Smartphone Photography and Social Media.  They fly from the book cover to the Shrine of the Book in Jerusalem, Israel, on to Jerusalem, Ohio.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Hunter Museum of American Art in Chattanooga: 6,417 miles from Jerusalem, Israel; 116 miles from JerUSAlem, Tennessee; or 0 cybermiles

Artist Mel Alexenberg launches cyberangels from Israel to thirty museums throughout the world as an homage to Rembrandt on the 350th anniversary of his death. These museums have Rembrandt inspired artworks by Alexenberg in their collections. At Global Tribute to Rembrandt are posts for each of the museums and texts on the impact of digital culture on art by the artist, former art professor at Columbia University and research fellow at MIT Center for Advanced Visual Studies.



“He had a vision in a dream. A ladder was standing on the ground, its top reaching up towards heaven as Divine angels were going up and down on it.” (Genesis 28:12)
Angels in Jacob’s dream go up from the Land of Israel and go down throughout the world.

Top image: Rembrandt inspired cyberangels arrive from Israel at the Hunter Museum of American Art in time for lunch nearby at the Rembrandt's Coffee House.  The biblical words for angel and food are spelled with the same four Hebrew letters to teach that angels are spiritual messages arising from everyday life. Perhaps there is spiritual significance that museums that offer art also offer food. 

Second image: The cyberangels begin their flight from the Israel Museum's Shrine of the Book in Jerusalem, home of ancient Bible scrolls. They gain momentum by going up from the tallest building in Israel, home of Facebook’s R&D Center, until construction is completed for the 91 story Azrieli Spiral Tower in Tel Aviv with the shape of a Bible scroll.

Third image: Cyberangels spiral up from a NASA satellite image of the Land of Israel on a smartphone screen on Mel Alexenberg’s newest book Through a Bible Lens.  They launch the book throughout the world from the artist/author’s studio in Israel. 
See praise for the book at Israel365.

Bottom image: Alexenberg’s lithograph “Digital Homage to Rembrandt: Day Angels” that has been in the collection of the Hunter Museum of American Art since 1986. In tribute to Rembrandt on the 350th year of his death, the day angels dormant in the museum’s flat files awaken to adorn the cover of the 2019 book Through a Bible Lens: Biblical Insights for Smartphone Photography and Social Media.  They fly from the book cover to the Shrine of the Book in Jerusalem, Israel, and on to Tennessee where there are two places called Jerusalem.  

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Tribute to the Master of Biblical Artworks from Museums in States with Places Named JerUSAlem

There are places named Jerusalem in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Maryland, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, and Vermont. See JerUSAlem-USA

Alexenberg's artworks inspired by Rembrandt's biblical themes are in the collections of art museums in most of these states, for example:  Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, Alabama; University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor, Michigan; Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, New York; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City; Museum of Modern Art, New York City; Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, Ohio; Hunter Museum of American Art, Chattanooga, Tennessee; and High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia. 

He created them at Pratt Graphics Center when he was head of the art department at Pratt Institute and research fellow at MIT Center for Advanced Visual Studies, and at the graphics center affiliated with the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. His cyberangel artwork is also represented in the collection of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History as a pioneering exemplar of computer-generated fine art printmaking.


Long Island Angels
        
Angel Announcing Birth of Samson to Manoah
                            
Day Angels
                          
Angels Ascending from the Land of Israel

The serigraph above in the collection of the Israel Museum was created by Mel Alexenberg at the museum affiliated Burston Graphics Center in Jerusalem, Israel.  It inspired the cover of the artist's newest book Through a Bible Lens: Biblical Insights for Smartphone Photography and Social Media.  The book provides the conceptual background for his cyberangel artworks: fine art prints, paintings, global telecommunications events, and the digital flight of cyberangels from Jerusalem in Israel to JerUSAlems in USA and throughout the world. See praise for the book at Israel365.

Friday, August 23, 2019

What’s an Angel? Learn from Rembrandt’s Internet Angels Flying between the Four Corners of USA

Mel Alexenberg, Miami Beach Angel, Acrylic painting on canvas with digitized Rembrandt angel. Exhibited in "The Poetics of the Eruv" show at Yale University, 2011.

In his highly original book The Thirteen Petalled Rose, Rabbi Adin Steinsalz describes angels as messengers bringing Divine plenty down from the worlds of Mind and Emotion into the World of Action.  The role of angels is implicit in their Hebrew name malakh, which means “messenger.”  It is said that an angel can carry out only one mission.  Every angel is one-dimensional, lacking the many-sidedness of human beings.  No two angels are alike. 

In the biblical book Ezekiel, we learn about three classes of angels:  Sepharim inhabiting the World of Mind, Hayot in the World of Emotions, and Ofanim in the World of Action.  Each one of the Sepharim is a distinct unit of mind, each of the Hayot is a distinct unit of an emotion, and each of the Ofanim is a distinct action.  Sepharim and Hayot are like invisible bits and bytes in the cybersphere Cloud that transmit their messages to Ofanim that render them visible on your smartphone screen or computer monitor.  Like data packets transporting information through cyberspace, the task of angels is to maintain communications between worlds of Mind, Emotions, and Action.  

Angels can be considered discrete data packets in the immaterial Worlds of Mind and Emotions realized in the material World of Action.  An angel in the World of Mind is a one-of-a-kind cognitive data packet of a specific thought, word, idea, or concept. An angel in the World of Emotions is an affective data packet of a particular feeling or emotion, a specific inclination or impulse toward love, fear, pity, and so on.  Ofanim are wheel angels moving through the World of Action, animating the realm of space and time, coloring every single facet of your daily life. (In modern Hebrew, ofnayim is a bicycle and ofnoah is a motorcycle.) 

In celebration of Miami’s centennial, I digitized an angel drawn by Rembrandt and sent it flying between the four corners of USA.   The single angel image was deconstructed and routed through cyberspace between Miami and San Diego along multiple pathways. When the data packets reach San Diego, they are reassembled in the correct sequence based on the ID numbers that were assigned in Miami.

The transmission control protocol (TCP) ensures that all the packets get to the requesting computer with no pieces missing as the whole Rembrandt cyberangel is rematerialized.  One angel packet can fly from Miami to New Orleans to Houston to Albuquerque to Phoenix to San Diego, while another angel packet flies from Miami to Atlanta to Nashville to St. Louis to Tulsa to Denver to Las Vegas to San Diego. Visualize the documentation of hundreds of routing paths plotted between the four corners on a map of the USA.

The erratic pathways drawn from Miami to San Diego, from San Diego to Seattle, from Seattle to Portland, and from Portland back to Miami look like streaks of electric energy. The visual record of the cyberangel flight around the American perimeter appear like flashes of lightning illuminating the multiple pathways between the four corners of USA. It is appropriate that the contemporary Hebrew word for electricity heshmal is taken from Ezekiel’s image of an angel.

The great Jewish leader of the 20th century, The Lubavicher Rebbe, teaches that the sweeping technological changes we are experiencing today were predicted some two thousand years ago in the Zohar, the classic text of Jewish spirituality. The Zohar describes how the outburst in scientific knowledge and technological advancement would be paralleled by an increase in sublime wisdom and spirituality. Integrating the wisdom of the mind and the wisdom of the soul can begin to usher true unity into the world.

From “Internet Angels” section in Mel Alexenberg’s latest book Through a Bible Lens: Biblical Insights for Smartphone Photography and Social Media.See praise for the book at Israel365. 

Thursday, August 22, 2019

"Inspired by Rembrandt" Exhibition at Rembrandt House Museum


Rembrandt House Museum in Amsterdam is currently presenting its exhibition 
"Inspired by Rembrandt: 100 Years of Collecting by The Rembrandt House Museum"

Below is the text about the exhibition on its website:
"Rembrandt has always fascinated us—not just in this Rembrandt Year, 350 years after his death, but down through the centuries. Rembrandt’s etchings have motivated artists in all kinds of ways, and Inspired by Rembrandt explores his impact on their art. This time The Rembrandt House Museum is dipping into its own collection, for the museum is not just his former home and workshop. For more than a hundred years it has also been collecting art on paper—the collection now contains more than 4,000 prints. And not just Rembrandts, but art by his followers—from his own time and contemporary artists."


Faxart Tribute to Rembrandt on the 320th Anniversary of His Death

My serigraph “Digitized Homage to Rembrandt: Day Angels” is in the collection of the Rembrandt House Museum. It was part of my event applauding the great master by faxing his digitized angel around the world via AT&T satellites on October 4, 1989.  In the photo above, dressed as Rembrandt’s friend Rabbi Manasseh Ben Israel, I am holding the “Day Angels” print in his studio.

I flew to Amsterdam to meet with Eva Orenstein-van Slooten, Curator of Rembrandt House Museum, the artist’s home and studio.  With trepidation, I proposed having a fax machine placed on Rembrandt’s etching press to receive the angel that would fly there from New York.  She thought it was a wonderful idea.  It would make her museum, a quiet place, come alive as Rembrandt’s angel rematerialized in the place he had originally created it. 

On the morning of October 4th, his angel ascended from the Chippendale top of the AT&T building in New York.  It flew to Amsterdam to Jerusalem to Tokyo to Los Angeles, returning to the former New Amsterdam (New York) on the same afternoon.  It took an hour in each city to receive 28 pages of angel fragments and fax them on to the next city.  After a five-hour flight around the planet, the deconstructed angel was reconstructed for the fifth time at its starting point.  

When it passed through Tokyo, it was the already the morning of October 5th.  After the line printed out on the top of the fax “Tokyo National University of Arts and Music, 5 October 1989” was the line “Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, 4 October 1989.”  Cyberangels can not only fly around the globe, they can fly into tomorrow and back into yesterday.  They reshape our concepts of time and space in ways that correspond to the vision of kabbalists centuries ago.

Digital Tribute to Rembrandt on the 350th Anniversary in the Age of Smartphones and Social Media

This blog will be active during the current "Year of Rembrandt" by documenting multiple global events that demonstrate the major changes in art and technology 30 years later.  I present the conceptual background for them in my 2019 book Through a Bible Lens: Biblical Insights on Smartphone Photography and Social Media.  

The book cover shows the same Rembrandt inspired cyberangels flying into Rembrandt House Museum 30 years ago.  However, here they are ascending from a NASA satellite image of the Land of Israel on a smartphone screen. See praise for the book at Israel365.

  

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Rembrandt Cyberangels Ascend from New York Subways

“A ladder was standing on the ground, and its top reached up toward heaven, and angels were going up and down on it.” (Genesis 28:12). 

Since angels first go up before they go down, they must start their ascent from the lowest of places.  In New York City, perhaps angels fly up from the subways.  It seemed like a great idea to paint on subway posters and silk-screen print on them digitized Rembrandt angels and spiritual messages from underground.
I called the company that places advertising posters in subway cars and asked if I could have some of them.  They invited me to come to their warehouse and take posters left over after they were placed in subways trains.  I chose fifty different placards on which I painted and silk-screened printed angels and spiritual messages based upon Hebrew word play.
 
 
Read the conceptual background for my creating the Subway Angels series at http://www.melalexenberg.com/about-the-artwork.php?id=32 and see more images. 

It is from my book Through a Bible Lens: Biblical Insights for Smartphone Photography and Social Media.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Rembrandt Died 350 Years Ago. Why He Matters Today

From The New York Times, Feb. 27, 2019
By Nina Siegal
Thoughtful article that points out major Rembrandt exhibitions in museums to honor him during the 350th year since his death.   
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/27/arts/design/rembrandt-death-anniversary.html?fbclid=IwAR1BXuHzGH3zdSdj7Q9bhuZMrbCdi2laKYrmSvUc2s9YfLKhMIJiWPXyIl4

Rembrandt 1660 Self-Portrait in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

"Through a Bible Lens" Provides Digital Age Insights for Rembrandt's Artwork

Through a Bible Lens: Biblical Insights for Smartphone Photography and Social Media is a highly acclaimed book by artist and art professor Mel Alexenberg that provides the conceptual background for the Global Tribute to Rembrandt on the 350th anniversary of his death. It speaks to Jews and Christians who share an abiding love of the Bible by inspiring the creation of a lively dialogue between the enduring biblical narrative and biblical themes in the art of Rembrandt.



 “He had a vision in a dream. A ladder was standing on the ground, its top reaching up towards heaven as Divine angels were going up and down on it.” (Genesis 28:12)

The image on the book cover is based upon a serigraph in the collection of the Israel Museum that was created in Jerusalem by the book’s author.  It shows digitized Rembrandt angels ascending from a NASA satellite image of the Land of Israel while emerging from a smartphone.  It illustrates the biblical commentary that the angels in Jacob’s dream go up from the Land of Israel and come down to earth throughout the world.  A smartphone has the power to make this vision a reality.

The angels carry a message to each of the 70 biblical nations populated by the descendants of Noah that God “separated into their lands, every one according to his language, according to their families, into their nations” (Genesis 10: 5).  They convey God’s message that the nations of the world are not meant to speak one language as in the disastrous Tower of Babel episode.  Each nation has its unique and distinct voice to contribute to the grand planetary choir singing God’s praise.

"Angels Ascending from the Land of Israel," in the collection of the Israel Museum in Jerusalem

See praise for Through a Bible Lens by experts on art and digital culture, and Jewish and Christian spiritual leaders at Israel365.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York: Rembrandt Exhibition and Alexenberg Experimental Print

Rembrandt: Selections from the Department of Drawings and Prints
Exhibition at The Met to commemorate the 350th anniversary of the death of Rembrandt
April 30–July 28, 2019

This installation commemorates the 350th anniversary of the death of the great Dutch draftsman, painter, and printmaker Rembrandt van Rijn. On display are a selection of drawings and prints by the artist, from both the Department of Drawings and Prints and the Robert Lehman Collection as well as an assortment of ephemeral material related to the etching revival and the cult of Rembrandt in the nineteenth century.

Below are texts about three etchings in the Met’s collection.  “Abraham Entertaining Angels” and “Jacob’s Ladder” by Rembrandt van Rijn, and “Digital Homage to Rembrandt: Jacob’s Dream” by Mel Alexenberg.

Abraham Entertaining the Angels, 1656, Rembrandt van Rijn

This etching illustrates the following biblical text: 
“Abraham rushed to the tent to Sarah and said, “Hurry!  Take three measures of the finest flour!  Kneed it and make rolls!  Abraham ran to the cattle to choose a tender and choice calf.(Genesis 18:6, 7)

The text below is a contemporary commentary on the text written in Tweets.  It is an excerpt from Mel Alexenberg’s 2019 book Though a Bible Lens: Biblical Insights for Smartphone Photography and Social Media. See praise for the book at Israel365.   

PARADISE OR BARBEQUE
Abraham ran after a calf that ran away from him into a cave that was the burial place of Adam and Eve. 
At the far end of the cave, he saw intense light emanating from an opening.
When he came close to the opening, he found himself standing at the entrance to the Garden of Eden. 
About to enter the pristine garden, he remembered that his wife and three guests were waiting for lunch back at the tent.
What should he do?  Should he trade paradise for a barbeque?
The Bible tells us that he chose to return to the tent and join his wife in making a meal for their three guests.
Abraham realized that paradise is what we create with our spouse at home.  Other visions of paradise are either mirages or lies.

“Enjoy life with the wife you love through all the days of your life.” (Ecclesiastes 9:9)
My wife, Miriam, and I worked together to create paradise in our vegetarian kitchen.
Adam and Eve had a vegetarian kitchen.
Spirituality emerged from our collaboration making a potato casserole for our guests.
We bought potatoes and scallions in Avi’s vegetable store and cottage cheese and grated yellow cheese in Bella’s grocery.    
We baked the potatoes in the microwave, sliced them into the baking pan and covered them with the cheeses. 
Miriam washed the scallions, cut them up, and sprinkled them over layers of cheese-covered potatoes.
After the casserole was baked, we served it to our guests.


Perhaps there is spiritual significance that museums that offer art also offer food.  

Jacob’s Ladder, 1656, Rembrandt van Rijn

This etching is Rembrandt’s illustration for the book Piedra Gloriosa by his friend Rabbi Menasseh Ben Israel that is based on the biblical passage:
“He had a vision in a dream. A ladder was standing on the ground, its top reaching up towards heaven as Divine angels were going up and down on it.” (Genesis 28:12)

Digitized Homage to Rembrandt: Jacob's Dream, 1986-87, Mel Alexenberg

This experimental mixed media artwork by Mel Alexenberg that was exhibited in the “The Second Emerging Expression Biennial: The Artist and the Computer” exhibition at the Bronx Museum of the Arts in New York, Sept. 17, 1987- January 24, 1988 and was acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art for its Department of Drawings and Prints.  It is based on a Rembrandt drawing in the same collection.

The text in the The Met’s website reads:  
Digitized Homage to Rembrandt: Jacob's Dream, 1986–87, Mel Alexenberg, American (born 1937). Etching, photoetching, and aquatint from computer generated-image, Accession Number 1987.110

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