Artistic, religious, and proud
Yoav Friedman 03.18.09, 10:42 / Israel Jewish Scene
Jerusalem art gallery presents Israel’s first-ever exhibit of works by homosexual religious artists. For the first time in Israel, 14 gay religious artists belonging to the Orthodox community will present their work at an art exhibit.
The art show, titled “Yots’im me’aron ha’kodesh” (a play on words in Hebrew literally meaning “getting out of the holy ark” but also hinting at “getting out of the closet,”) deals with the intersection of the artists’ Jewish and sexual identity, while seeking to show that co-existence between them is possible.
Some of the work at the exhibit may no doubt provoke anger among rabbis and conservative elements in the Orthodox community. However, the exhibit may also serve as another step in recognizing the existence of gay religious Jews and the difficulties they face in coping with their sexual orientation within the framework of religion.
Exhibit organizers note that “seemingly, the artist’ religious and sexual identities are supposed to contradict each other, yet the works at the show illustrate how they create complex and sometimes even complementary interactions.”