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UnGraven Image: How to See the Divine in Post Conceptual Art

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Judy Rey Wasserman: An Artist Honors the Divine

“The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance” Aristotle

What is Post Conceptual Art? “Post Conceptual Art marries the concepts of conceptualism with figurative art. The focus is on the strokes – and each stroke is a symbol… Using symbols for strokes to create visual imagery, Post Conceptual Art closely emulates both cutting edge scientific and ancient spiritual art.” Judy Rey Wasserman from Art of Seeing the Divine

Evening, Fifth Day

Evening, Fifth Day, Sunrise-Sunset series, Genesis 1- 2:7, Deuteronomy. 6:4 & Gold “frame” Psalm 19 By Judy Rey Wasserman

Genesis Aleph, Strokes: Deuteronomy 6:4

Genesis Aleph, Strokes: Deuteronomy 6:4 By Judy Rey Wasserman

If you have read any of the interviews posted here, you’d know by now that last fall, I had decided to work on a series of get-to-know-you interviews. The goal was to delve deeply into my social media connections, share insights, stories and more from some of the wonderful people I have met, and put a real face to the person behind the username, web page, blog image or twitter post we see.

Today, we continue the series with another remarkable interviewee – Judy Rey Wasserman. Judy is an extraordinary post conceptual artist – which means she creates ungraven image art; original, figurative works of art from concepts that offer a non-traditional yet scientific and religious approach or scope. Like other forms of conceptual art, Judy’s unique art serves up a fresh perspective about the creative process and how art transcends standard forms and expectations. Judy’s original work brings another dimension to the conversation on how/why we create art. In Judy’s work, she creates special art pieces by adding biblical symbols via strokes from the Torah.

Video: Painting with the Big Bang of Genesis By Judy Rey Wasserman

For instance, the portraits/paintings below have been created entirely of strokes/symbols from the Book of Psalms and other biblical texts identified with them; essentially, Judy makes art infused with prayers and blessings. Judy’s work also includes a healing component through her Awakened Vision work; you can read more about her healing work on her Art of Seeing the Divine website. Furthermore, as Judy explains, her art and healing work, “…provides you with images that become memories that your brain can use to decode the impressions of light of energies seen by your eyes.”

Judy and I connected on Twitter many moons ago and the genius of her artistic work made me curious. I wanted to learn more about her and the inspiration behind her original, religious artwork. Judy is warm, funny and always happy to share her work and vision with people. Her website Art of Seeing the Divine will definitely give you more glorious food for thought. Grab a cup of tea, kick back and join me in welcoming Judy to the blog.

Psalm 133 (Oprah Winfrey) Essence Portrait Series Strokes: Psalm 133

Psalm 133 (Oprah Winfrey) Essence Portrait Series Strokes: Psalm 133 By Judy Rey Wasserman

113 (Vincent van Gogh), Essence Portrait series, Strokes: Psalm 113

113 (Vincent van Gogh), Essence Portrait series, Strokes: Psalm 113 By Judy Rey Wasserman

“Our ability to actually see is enhanced by practice and new visual experiences, which become our visual memories (data).” Judy Rey Wasserman from Art of Seeing The Divine

Foundation Questions:
Tell us a bit about your background: Who are you? Where did you grow up and where do you live now?
I am an artist and the founder of Post Conceptual Art theory, especially the branch called UnGraven Image. UnGraven Image Art is based on science and theology. It is the first religious art theory founded in the USA and, being American, it is inclusive. I am also the author of the Art of Seeing The Divine books which are about the effect my art has on vision and emotional well being.

I was born and raised in New York City and spent a great deal of time after school and on weekends in the great art museums and galleries. The museums and galleries were my safe haven from seventh through twelfth grade. My summers were spent in Southampton in the old farm house where I now live.

My original training was in fine art, both in high school and college. I wanted to be an artist but was told it was impractical because I am a female. However, my being female was not the reason why I didn’t pursue a career in art when I was younger. I didn’t pursue art as a career path because I felt I had nothing important to contribute; nothing new and world view changing the way the great artists like Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Monet and then living artists like Warhol, Picasso and Dali had.

Until I could really contribute, not simply repeat or illustrate, I vowed to walk away as art was and still is too important to me. I moved on to work as a counselor and to conduct seminars. I trained and worked in film on both sides of the camera including writing scripts. I worked as an arts journalist, and I am a parent.

What do you do for a living?
I am an artist. I also have a book based on the amazing effect my art has on vision that I authored.

“When you change the way you look at things the things you look at change.” Wayne Dyer

Judy Rey Wasserman, Gifted Artist...

Why did you choose the path you now follow?
I stumbled onto the artistic path that I am now following. It took several years before I realized how important Post Conceptual Art and especially the branch known as UnGraven Image actually is.
Since childhood, I had wanted to paint to show the reality of what lies beneath what we see. I had tried painting landscapes that revealed atomic particles and atoms; the smallest matter known to science. My attempts were disastrous and looked like mud.

About six years ago, I attended a lecture where I learned that according to primary theology, a belief held by all branches and denominations of Christians and Jews, the original letters spoken by the Lord in Genesis 1 represent the smallest elements that form the basis of our physical universe. I thought, ‘What if I used Hebrew Torah font letters as strokes in a painting to symbolize the strings of elementary physics?’

I rounded up some leftover acrylic paint and supplies from my son’s school art projects, copied some psalms from a prayer book to create a sunset and my whole life changed from that moment. That was when I became an artist.

How do you live your life and manage your household?
I live my life seeking to be inspired by each moment; I live in the now. In the physical universe, we are always doing something. My son is grown so I live with our very old beagle and with two cats that moved in when the neighbors moved away. My home has become a rambling studio.

“When we see something new, or add more visual data to something familiar, we are creating memory. Memory is created of energy and mass, and so we are actually growing our brains.” Judy Rey Wasserman from Art of Seeing The Divine

Montauk Lighthouse Sunrise

Montauk Lighthouse Sunrise, Strokes: Genesis 1-2:7, Deuteronomy 6:4 &Gold “frame” Psalm 8 By Judy Rey Wasserman

Sag Harbor Bridge Sunset

Genesis Sunset-Sunrise series, Genesis 1- 2:7, Deuteronomy. 6:4 & Gold “frame” Psalm 19 By Judy Rey Wasserman

Reflective Questions:
What motivates you to get out of bed?
Usually I am motivated to get out of bed by the fact that I have to pee. Once I am up, I want coffee. And then I remember everything I want to accomplish that day… and so it goes.

What makes you happy/laugh?
I love to laugh and get others to laugh! When I give speeches or seminars, people comment that I am so funny. At one point in my career, I wrote comedy professionally and find so much that is funny. I think God has a great sense of humor, considering giraffes, artichokes, platypuses and, well…me!

What makes you sad/mad?
Intolerance. My art and my work stand for tolerance. The symbols that I use for strokes and the Bible’s original letters are all binary – synonymous with duality. This means my work refers to important concepts held by many spiritual paths.
The hallmark of every true democracy is religious tolerance. Tolerance fuels democracy and human rights and encourages freedom of artistic expression.

What would you do differently with your life if you had the power? With the world if you had the choice?
Personally, I have learned to be careful about what I pray for and to give thanks for prayers that were answered with a resounding – “No!” If I changed anything in my own life, I would not have learned the lessons and have the friends and family that I have today. So, other than taking back all the unkind things that I ever said or did, I would leave my past as it is.
In relation to the world, we all have the choice to make a better world. My art and life is about that. My art has been proven to change people’s physical vision by providing images with light and energy. According to research, a ninety percent increase in vision occurs in our brains as we use memories to translate the impressions of light received through the eyes. When a person begins to see with this new Awakened Vision, they experience less negative emotions or unwanted memories in their lives. The experience might feel like a miracle but it is scientifically based. For normal human beings, sixty-five percent of the brain is dedicated to vision, so a new, enhanced way of seeing can really impact a person’s life. When more people live happier and more fulfilling lives, their families, communities and the world will change.

“Science without religion is lame; religion without science is blind.” Albert Einstein

THe Dock Less Traveled

Sunrise-Sunset series, Genesis 1- 2:7, Deuteronomy. 6:4 & Gold “frame” Psalm 19 By Judy Rey Wasserman

Water Mill Sunset

Genesis Sunset-Sunrise series, Genesis 1- 2:7, Deuteronomy 6:4 & Gold “frame” Psalm 8 By Judy Rey Wasserman

What guiding principle(s) do you follow to make your life meaningful?
Many great teachers on the spiritual path have taught these two simple truths that are easy to say, but not as easy to live: 1. Love God, seek always to have a closer relationship with The Divine and, 2. Do onto others as you would have them do onto you.

What word(s) of advice would you give to others today?
The last question about guiding principles is the best advice I know to share.
If a person is an artist I would suggest they explore painting and creating art within the tenets of Post Conceptual UnGraven Image Art. There is a free document to download at my UngravenImage website. Plus, anyone can download the free 30+ page ebook that explains Awakened Vision and includes a Visual Brain Game exercise through my website

How would you like to be remembered?
That is an interesting question that I have never considered. I think I would like people to think of me as their friend, someone who helped them see more and live better; even inspired them. Art is immortal, therefore I think of van Gogh, Rembrandt, Monet and others as friends because they have helped to inspire my life as a person, not just as an artist.

Happiness is…..?
The word “happy” translated into Hebrew means “Blessed”. In the biblical Sermon on the Mount, when in English it says “happy” it really means “blessed”. I am happiest when I am working creatively or interacting lovingly with people because that is when I am most inspired and closest to God. That is blessed.

Judy Rey Wasserman lives in Southampton in the old farm house where she spent many childhood summers. She generously shares her art and healing work with the world and writes and paints regularly using her chosen medium – post conceptual ungraven image art. Judy has a great website and blog – Art of Seeing The Divine – with more information and art for your enjoyment. You may connect with Judy on Twitter: @JudyRey

What do you think about post conceptual art? About Ungraven image art? What did you learn from Judy’s work? Share your feedback with us. Thank You!

All Paintings and Portraits shared by courtesy of Judy Rey Wasserman

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank

6 Comments leave one →
  1. 18/01/2010 1:18 am

    its fascinating to hear the artist talk about her work.. so often, we place our own perspective on others vision, and of course art invites our personal critiques- but its interesting to learn how the artist “sees” their inspiration, and what they want to convey through their painting.. good, informative interview.. thanks!!!

  2. 18/01/2010 3:56 am

    Excellent point Rich. I agree that artists should speak first about their work and that we must pay attention to the conversation behind the work. This has been highly enjoyable particularly because Judy’s medium of choice is quite unique and incorporates other elements; vis a vis Torah strokes, prayers and healing work. Do stop by again. TY! 😉

  3. 18/01/2010 7:46 pm

    I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


    • 19/01/2010 8:25 am

      Welcome Claudia and thank you for the visit and generous comments. I see from your link that you’re an artist. How would you describe your work to a novice? Do stop by again and share your thoughts … I will visit your site too. Have a great week! 😉


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