Elke Reva Sudin at the J. Greenstein Gallery

2am Farbrengen, 36" x 60", Acrylic on Canvas

Hipsters and Hassids and other Judaic works, the art of Elke Reva Sudin.

Live Exhibition Presented by the Greenstein Gallery July 11-July 30th, 2011
Opening Reception: Monday July 11, 2011 8pm-12am Meet and greet the artist.
Greenstein Gallery | 417 CENTRAL AVENUE | CEDARHURST, NEW YORK 11516. Tel: 516. 516-295-2931.

Virtual Exhibition Presented by 3Dvas
July 18-July 30th, 2011
Opening virtual reception  July 18, 2011 6pm-9pm
Active Link available for opening reception

Elke Reva Sudin is an illustrator who draws inspiration from urban culture and her Jewish heritage. She founded Jewish Art Now with the aim to redefine 21st century art for the Jewish community, and received critical acclaim for her “Hipsters and Hassids” painting series. The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York has collected her work, and she has curated art exhibitions at the Flomenhaft Gallery, Gallery Bar, and Industry City. She was featured in publications such as the New York Press, Jewish Week, ZEEK, and Tablet Magazine. Sudin is an engaging and magnetic public speaker, and has presented at the Jewish Art Salon, Limmud FSU, and Tribefest in Las Vegas.

Sudin received a BFA in Illustration from Pratt Institute in New York, and serves on the board of the Jewish Alumni Association of Pratt Institute, as well as the board of the Jewish Art Salon in New York. She has also worked with Jewish diversity group Be'chol Lashon, music label Shemspeed, and advocacy group Artists 4 Israel.

Recently, Sudin was named one of the Jewish Week's “36 Under 36” young Jewish innovators. Sudin lives with her husband Saul, a filmmaker, in Brooklyn, New York

Brief Statement by the Artist
Hipsters and Hassids present a visual comparison of the similarities that these two Brooklyn communities share, despite their obvious differences. These two groups intrigued me because I am an artist and a religious Jew and I often find myself caught between the two worlds.

Review by Thomas Shelford
In a departure from the previous generations’ preoccupation with irony and alienation, young artists of the Facebook generation such as Elke Reva Sudin, with her “Hipsters and Hassids” series are forging a new zeitgeist with a global outlook and a powerful sense of community that is also informed by an unabashed spirituality. Armed with graphic line quality and sensitive observation, the members of the young Brooklyn vanguard are building their art out of the intersection of the old and the new, influenced by such sources as comic book illustration and street graffiti.
Mrs. Sudin, walking in the footsteps of her senior colleagues featured in “The Upset“, seems to reject as futile the notion that the artist must re-invent the wheel using only her internal monologue as raw material. As an active member of Brooklyn’s vibrant Jewish orthodox community, Sudin is outwardly focused, embracing realism as a universal vocabulary that can be used to integrate unlikely cultural forces and forge connections with the viewer without relying upon conceptual jargon or marketing schemes to make the work coherent. Her work is solidly grounded in classical illustration training, yet avoids a formulaic approach by employing an arsenal of mixed media styles and empathy for the idiosyncrasies of each lovingly observed subject.
Specifically, Sudin’s work provides a visual roadmap displaying the connections between modern urban multiculturalism and the eternal human need for community and spiritual connection. Her “Hipsters and Hassids” series is relevant to broader cultural trends, while remaining specific to the beloved eccentricities of Brooklyn itself. Exhibiting a compelling sense of place, Sudin’s vantage point is not that of the snarky voyeur striking an ironic pose, but rather her insights are gained from a close intimacy with, and affection for, her subject matter. This is even evident in her pen & ink architectural sketches, in which an overlooked pile of bricks oozes personality. Her work represents a visual manifestation of a phenomenon witnessed in the Brooklyn music scene with performers like Matisyahu and Eprhyme, and provides us with a compass pointing to the emerging characteristics of 21st century art.
- Thomas Shelford Artist, Critic, and Coordinator for the Gilles Larrain Art Salon

1 comment:

  1. On a recent balmy Saturday night in July after Shabbos ended I trekked out to Cedarhurst to check out Elke Sudin’s exhibition in the storefront Greenstein Gallery on Central Avenue. It was well worth the trip. While I had seen images of most of the paintings from her Hipsters and Hasids series, I had never seen the work in person or in relationship to each other. In her frenetic and personal way Elke is on to something.

    Allowing two similar sized works of art to dialogue and create a narrative is of course not at all new. All great narrative cycles from the San Marco mosaics to Giotto’s Arena Chapel to countless diptych altarpieces utilize this form. But what is new here is that two previously “unrelated” social groups are put into juxtaposition to create an ironic and critical discourse. Since each group considers themselves cool and assured of its exclusive lifestyle, it is unlikely they will see the underlying tensions. Only viewers who have sufficient distance with nothing to lose will see the critical comparisons Elke makes.

    Hasids obsess over esrogim while hipsters similarly pore over LP’s. Each group is caught up in a form of obsessive consumerism that equally threatens to obfuscate the laudable values of music appreciation and obeying God. The frantic guitarist in Hipster Rocker is no less drawn into the visceral joy of music and movement than the Hassid Dancing. 2am Farbrengen shares the joy of communal experience equally with 2am Loft Party though neither would openly admit the value of the other. That is what makes Elke’s diptychs so revealing. I certainly hope she continues to explore these narrative ventures.

    Richard McBee, August 16, 2011