The Squared Letters of Yaweh is a series of intricate oil paintings by the young Israeli artist Alpha Adon-Yakob. A former classmate of the up and coming Brooklyn based curator and critic Spark Boon, Alpha is well acquainted with the byzantine political intricacies of the New York scene.
|The Squared Letters of Yaweh: Yod, Alpha Adon-Yakob, 2012|
Despite his Zionist pedigree (his grandfather Shabtai Mintz, a sniper in the pre-state Stern Gang was hanged by the British on the gallows of Acre), Adon-Yakob is more drawn to the harps of Babylon than to the olive orchards of Gethsemane.
Boon included him in the now infamous Exiled/HardCore exhibition at the Brooklyn Navy Yard and the ensuing succès de scandale catapulted the young expatriate into artworld stardom.
My good friend David Schoffman took a keen interest in the young Israeli artist (Schoffman speaks a mellifluously fluent albeit biblically inflected Hebrew) and introduced him to scores of New York artworld hotshots and power brokers. Many saw in their relationship a faint, tender echo of the Warhol/Basquiat pairing of the 1980's. It's a testament to Schoffman's legendary generosity that he granted the younger artist an uncircumcised grace and never begrudged his meteoric art market inflation.
|The Squared Letters of Yaweh: Vav, Alpha Adon-Yakob, 2012|
When asked in an interview published in the current November issue of Arte de Nuestro Tiempo to name his most profound influences, Adon-Yakob rattled off a laundry list of minor Middle Eastern performance artists, a couple of third-rate poets and Kafka. When pushed to name whom he thought were today's most overrated personalities he replied, "Lady Gaga, Hassan Nasrallah and David Schoffman."