Kaddish for Dąbrowa Białostocka
Artist Mark Podwal describes Kaddish for Dąbrowa Białostocka as “a visual diary of my journey to Dąbrowa,” the shtetl in northeastern Poland where his mother was born. Podwal’s series of imaginative, colorful prints incorporate Jewish religious iconography and ritual objects with images from Yiddish folk culture and Jewish history. With acrylic and colored pencil, Podwal has created unexpected images of a vanished world. According to Cynthia Ozick, who has dubbed Podwal “Baal Kav Emet,” or “Master of the True Line,” Podwal’s drawings are “jubilant God-imaginings.”
Listen to our interview with Mark Podwal on The Shmooze. Mark talks about his work, its influences, and his exhibit Kaddish for Dąbrowa Białostocka, which is on display at the Yiddish Book Center. Podwal may have been best known initially for his drawings on the New York Times Op-Ed page. In addition, he is the author and illustrator of numerous books and his work is included in museum collections worldwide. Most of these works—Podwal’s own, as well as those he has illustrated for others—find their roots in Jewish legend, history, and tradition.