At Meislin, Igael Shemtov’s Ass Is Us

THE DAILY PIC: The Israeli artist portrays a world of burdens.


THE DAILY PIC (#1327): The Israeli artist and teacher Igael Shemtov included this image in his portfolio called The Photo Album: 1979-80, which is on view now at Andrea Meislin Gallery in New York. I was immediately struck by the poignancy that always seems to attach itself to donkeys, beasts of burden who stand for all of the rest of us burdened folk. Of course, there’s some nurture lurking behind that nature – from the ass whose torments are catalogued in Robert Bresson’s amazing Au Hasard Balthazar to the one that bore Jesus into Jerusalem. Even in a Jewish context and land, the bleeding tomatoes in Shemtov’s photo have a bit of the stigmata about them.

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