top of page


“Based on the a priori position that a language reflects the concerns of the people who speak it, the letters of the Hebrew alphabet are a key to the ethics, values, spiritual obligations, and metaphysical aspirations of the Jewish people.” 

Daniela Abravanel

(Scroll down to read about this portfolio)

To Abravanel’s point, countless tracts have been written about the spiritual significance, as well as the creative and meditative qualities of the Hebrew alphabet. Abravanel’s own book, Secrets of the Hebrew Alphabet, focuses on the connections between the Hebrew alphabet and traditions in Kabbalistic thought. In ways that, admittedly, have less spiritual intent, what the paintings in this portfolio strive to do is visually contemplate the structure and composition of Hebrew letters in ways other than how we might normally encounter them. Accordingly, the paintings in this portfolio speak to two considerations: On the one hand, and with regard to prima facie imagery, these paintings seek to re-consider that which is narrative. That re-consideration takes the form of asking, at what point of abstraction does an image that we are familiar with become something different? At what point does our understanding of that image, whether we are familiar with it or not – and the value we place on or associate with it – transform to become something new? On the other hand, I am interested to explore what Hebrew letters compositionally evoke with and without their concomitant context, meaning, and significance.


In regards to the Hebrew letters presented in this portfolio, I employ the process of abstraction through magnification and a re-positioning of viewpoint in such a way as to retain some features of the letters, while presenting an emergent new composition. Varying the volume of paint within the positive space, while experimenting with opacity and texture in the negative space, my intent is to facilitate a visual reconceptualization of that which readers of Hebrew would otherwise recognize. For those not familiar with Hebrew, these techniques serve to further obfuscate any hint of letter formation.


All of this said, and regardless of the extent of one’s experience with Hebrew and the letters of its alphabet – or the lack thereof – the paintings in this portfolio do give expression to the potential of what positive psychologist and author, Edward Hoffman, described as the meditative qualities of Hebrew letters, something that Kabbalists have understood for centuries. Thus, while the intent of this portfolio may not have specifically aimed at reflecting, let alone evoking, spiritual consideration, the viewer may nonetheless engage with each of these compositions with an understanding that they indeed afford such opportunities.

bottom of page