Art for me is an act of worship and sacrifice to God

Mural at YMHA in Jerusalem (Photo Elhanan ben-Avraham)

I have been an artist for about as long as I can remember of my 75 years. In childhood I was drawing on the back of my school papers, even to the dismay of my teachers. It is a calling that carried me, after completing three rigorous years in a professional art school, from America to Paris, where I had a studio for five years, producing many pieces in many media. Then for four years in Brazil I produced hundreds of illustrations for a series of books for income. It was there in Brazil that an encounter with the Lord changed the direction of my life forever. I immediately put all my art behind me, wishing only to serve the Lord. But two years later when I married He directed me to again use the talent and the tools He had granted me, but in His service. Since that day I have produced work to His glory and His kingdom. It is a hard work in which I aim at excellence, like Jacob with the Angel wrestling down the vision onto canvas, paper, wood and stone.

In the 43 years of serving as an artist, in the order of Betzalel, God has guided me and blessed the work of my hands, providing our every need. He has led me to produce large Biblical murals in public buildings in Jerusalem, on a military base in Samaria while serving in the IDF, a large granite sculpture of the Ten Commandments for a church in Colorado, a wood carving atop the aron hakodesh containing the Torah scrolls, and a large volume of other works including much scriptural calligraphy, published far and wide. All this recently culminated in producing the first illustrated full Hebrew/English Bible done by a Jew in the Land of Israel: The Jerusalem illustrated Bible, with the Bible Society in Israel.

Our Creator has endowed each one of us with various gifts and talents, and I wish to encourage each one to use those gifts to His glory, always aiming at excellence. For me my art is an expression of not only service, but love, gratitude, worship and sacrifice to my Creator, works that may lift the eyes of the viewer upward to His kingdom.