Boerum Hill artist Elke Reva Sudin is fresh from her first exhibition during Art Basel in Miami.
Blending a complex religious identity in modern painting? Brooklyn resident Elke Reva Sudin has it down to an art.
The 26-year-old Boerum Hill artist, a Modern Orthodox Jew, is fresh off of exhibiting her work in Miami as part of the SELECT Fair, an exhibition for emerging artists that ran alongside Art Basel.
The painter said she doesn’t identify herself as an adherent of any one sect of Judaism. “I’m watchful of the commandments,” Sudin told The News. “But culturally, I’m an artist.”
Sudin, perhaps best known for her tongue-in-cheek “Hipsters & Hassids” series in which she compares and contrasts the seemingly contradictory Brooklyn cultures, showed her work, “Yael Approaches the General,” as a part of a Lower East Side-based artists’ space, Con Artist.
Courtesy of Elke Reva Sudin
Her work, ‘Yael Approaches the General,’ is derived from a biblical story of Yael fulfilling the prophecy of Deborah and defeated the Canaanite army, and features an old-meets-new aesthetic.
“Showing this painting was personal for me,” Sudin said of the oil painting that depicts the biblical character holding a tent peg and hammer, moments before she will drive the stake through the head of a Canaanite general — a brutal gesture that saves the Israelites.
“She is strong and non-apologetic about her identity,” said Sudin, who put a modern twist on the tale of an ancient heroine.
The artist, like her paintings, is a combination of Old World-tradition and New World ideals. She and her husband, 30-year-old filmmaker Saul Sudin, both enjoy creative jobs — an unorthodox career choice, some might say, for the observant orthodox.
But Sudin’s biggest goal is to make art relevant for her audience, the Jewish community, she says.
“If it isn’t important to that world, it won’t have any significance for them either.”