Down the road from the Livnot campus you find a sign with the words “Weapons and Puppies”, it is the entrance to the gallery of Tzfat artist Yom Tov Blumenthal. Originally from Florida, Yom Tov studied fine art and illustration, and worked as a digital artist on Star Trek video games, before he moved to Tzfat a few years ago and and opened his own gallery.
When entering the large gallery you being to understand the sign on the door, as you are greeted by paintings of a diverted reality. Yom Tov’s background as a digital artist and love of pop culture shines through, mixed with Jewish elements and question of reality, you can find a painting of a landscape with men in space-suits walking around, with the uniform protecting and hiding themselves from reality.
Through his art, Yom Tov questions the point of being, by mixing the known with an opposition. During his career as an artist in Florida, Yom Tov came to realize that Judaism is an inevitable part of our life, and through his art he seeks to inspire and connect with the soul through his art.
“I consider each human mind as a filter in between this realm of reality, and the spiritual realm,” says Yom Tov. “Every filter has different results based on its life experiences and chemical makeup. When I look into my mind, I see so many images that I can barely catch my breath. I select a few random images for the brief moment when I see them. My art keeps me equally as curious as it does others.”
Showing his art in Tzfat adds another dimension to his art work, by giving the viewer a chance to incorporate Judaism and Kabballah into their understanding of the artwork. Through his paintings, Yom Tov allows everyone to enjoy the Torah from wherever they from and wherever they are at in life.
In Yom Tov’s gallery you will also find artwork made by his wife, Elinor, who after overcoming an illness learnt to paint with her other hand. Her paintings are recognized by beautiful strokes picturing Jewish elements and nature in her artwork.
“Living in Tzfat,” he adds, “is a wonderful ‘life raft’ for my mind. It is the perfect mixture of very intense, and very mellow spiritual power! I have definitely found my home here.”
You can visit Yom Tov’s gallery, have a chat, and get free money at 107 Alozerov. View his creations online at www.yomtov.com.
-Contributed by Simone Meron, photos by Paul DeMarco