Right in Goldman-Schwartz Art Studios, you will find an amalgamation of talent, inspiration and style in an exhibition of the new artwork from home and abroad students. The one thing they have in common: They are all talented artists.
Abstract, fruit, landscape views, sculptures and paper cut outs are all in one room, in an explosion of artistic dexterity. Much of the work was inspired by the Brandeis in Siena summer program, which many of the artists attended.
“Nativity at Night,” a painting by Eli Levy ’18, who received a Remis Grant, features triangular figures that seem to be influenced by Picasso’s cubism. The Nativity at Night scene is a cultural iconography that is linked to the Catholic church and Italy itself.
Orli Swergold ’18 created a scene of distinct debris scattered in a haphazard way, sort of describing the daily hectic lives we all live in. Perhaps because she was part of the Siena program, the painting, with the wine glass bottles in it, says Italy all over it. And it is a magnificent way to portray the country, since Italy is both a great producer of wine as well as a major consumer of it.
Sarah Chung ’18 created a picturesque structure of an old building that may belong somewhere in Europe, with four animals, all equally placed over the painting. The four animals represent air, land and water—since two of them are birds, one is an elephant and the other is a dolphin. But the reason why these animals are part of the painting can only be answered by Chung; it may have also been the artist’s idea to leave the interpretation up to the spectator. One thing is clear—the painting is captivating, intriguing and stands on its own.
Another painting by Alexis Gilbert ’18 features a set of buildings, including Siena’s Torre del Mangia, coming out of one colorful and detailed logo. The sky is also divided into four part. Two parts represent the night and two represent the day. It is another way of looking or portraying the supposedly round world in which we live in. In fact, Torre del Mangia was a big source of inspiration to Gilbert because she created another masterful painting with the tower being the center of the artwork.
There was also a set of paintings all showing a view from a window facing the roofs of other houses. Again, it could be anywhere in the world, but all of them are creations by students from the Siena program; they are very similar to the view of Piazza del Campo. One that stood out was painted by Zolia Coc-Chang ’18, a Remis Grant recipient, in which the cream colors and specific point of view capture the essence of Italy.
One of the most impressive paintings by far was created by Tova Weinberger ’18. Weinberger made the painting of a woman who is also in the process of finishing a painting on her own, sort of like a painter within a painting. It seems the woman is trying to capture the beautiful, peaceful and natural landscape she has in front of her—just outside her window. We do not know much about the painter, only that she is enigmatic. Her back is facing the audience; therefore, any emotion she is feeling, as she is submerged in her work, is only hers, just as much as her painting may be.
The other highlights of Weinberger’s work are more abstract but still breathtaking and three dimensional, including another work with the Torre del Mangia. It is made of newspapers and colorful cardboard, synthesized all in a nuanced oval shape.
Furthermore, it appears that seeing the Torre del Mangia in virtually all the artwork of the students became the proof that the Tuscany region of Siena, Italy, is simply influential. It offers a great deal of cultural fascination for the place in which the artists found themselves when they grasped a paintbrush, giving students another reason to study abroad.