Celebrate First Friday In Our Interactive Sukkah
October’s First Friday falls on the first night of Sukkot, the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles. This year, The Old City Jewish Art Gallery is excited to host an exhibition by world renowned artist, Yitzchok Moully. Moully is an Australian Orthodox rabbi who gained attention for his unique "Chasidic Pop Art,” contrasting strong Jewish images with bold colors, in a style that has been compared to Andy Warhol.
Moully is best known for “Orange Socks,” a piece which celebrates the diversity in the Orthodox Jewish world, a community which is often stereotyped as valuing conformity.
"Orange Socks is really my self portrait. It’s this idea of finding your individuality within the context of the community. Our Judaism must be a reflection of our unique self, it can’t be a carbon copy of anyone else's.” Moully said.
In 2017, Moully’s Orange Socks was transformed into a life size exhibit at the Jerusalem Biennale for Contemporary Jewish Art. The response was overwhelming.
“There were all sorts of people who came: religious people, secular people. Everyone was so drawn in and connected to it. They all wanted to stand near the lineup of people, have their pictures taken, just be part of it. They all felt a sense of belonging.” Moully said.
Moully plans to use that same spirit of belonging to create the Old City Sukkah.
“The whole concept of Sukkas it that it’s possible to get all the people into one sukkah. We all belong there. The outside of the sukkah in Philly actually goes over the sidewalk, so any person passing by will be walking through it and become part of it, reflecting that pluralism.”
Visitors who pass through into the Sukkah will be greeted by an evolution of Moully’s work, from the original Orange Socks painting to his newest interactive concept “Philly plus You.”
“There’s an idea in Tanya (a work of Hassidic philosophy) that when 10 souls gather, the Shekinah (G-d’s presence) rests in that space. I came up with this concept called “plus you” where we take nine life-sized figures that define the community... Mothers, fathers, children, elderly, abled, disabled and leave an empty space. Whoever steps into that space completes the community.”
Visitors are invited to come to the Sukkah at the Old City Jewish Art Center anytime between October 2-9 to enjoy Moully’s interactive artwork and contribute their own thoughts on a communal wall that will be included alongside the exhibit.