Michel D’Anastasio is one of the more eminent Hebrew calligraphers in the world; nonetheless his work is still quite unknown in Central Europe. The artist’s calligraphic beginnings date back to year 1989 and since then he is passionately searching for different artistic expressions that are offered by beautifully written letters.
D’Anastasio’s fascination with Hebrew alphabet is a result of his voyage to Israel in 2004, where he has also found a great admiration for Hebrew culture and tradition, written in biblical texts. Hebrew letters are beautiful and harmonious, and have many symbolical meanings; hence in his creative restlessness D’Anastasio is constantly aiming to perfection, to improve and modernise the shapes and features of Hebrew letters. In his desire to give an ancient alphabet a new, more contemporary appearance, he started to use new, often very unusual materials, such as pen made of a cola-can. Using a unique artistic concept D’Anastasio passes over the possibilities of calligraphy as an artwork beautifully written on paper, glass or canvas, and masterly forming of Hebrew letters and texts by thoroughly arranged and dramatically lit environments adding to written expressions of almost a theatrical nature. The whole composition is photographed so that the final work of art is not only the calligraphy itself but a picture that is intervened by scenes containing written works, whilst at the same time interpreting the divine, sacred origins and background of Hebrew letters and writings. The deeply meditative character of D’Anastasio’s calligraphy obtains new and mystic dimensions.
The collection of artwork, displayed in the Maribor Synagogue, was made in last five years, and includes two representations of simple letters – the two most powerful in Jewish symbolism: Aleph and Shin – through writings from the Torah to the text of the Israeli national anthem: Hatikva. D’Anastasio’s art offers an inside view to the numerous expressions of Hebrew letters as well as it provides the spectator with a diversity of influences on Jewish life and philosophy via the writing tradition.
The opening ceremony of the Judaica Calligraphy exhibition will be accompanied by the speech of Dr. Borut Holcman; the musical programme will be performed by the harpist Brin Bernatović.
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