In the Zohar, the foundational book of Kabbalah, it is told that before creating the world itself, God first formed the letters and endowed them with a special spiritual power to assist in the act of creation. Each letter came in its turn before God to request to be the first one to commence the act of creation.
This story, as many other myths and legends, demonstrates the extent to which Judaism is based on and immersed in text. Gabriel says: “the idea of depicting the moment of creation by purely using the Hebrew letters has been present in my mind for quite a while, but the form was missing. Fortunately, the iconic image of Michelangelo from the Sistine chapel revealed itself one morning. It was immediately apparent to me that it was exactly the form I was looking for.
As a calligrapher, I am constantly reflecting on the notion that the letters, physical matter and being are mysteriously intertwined with each other. This large-scale canvas is a testemonial to this idea.
Acrylic on Canvas
Private collection, Los Angeles