A Messianic Jewish artist in Israel has been invited to display his sculptures in one of the most prominent open-air shopping centers in the country.
Baruch Maayan’s work will be featured among other sculptures and artwork displayed at Jerusalem’s Mamilla Mall, the pedestrian arcade of that runs from the Old City’s Jaffa Gate to King David Street.
“For a while people were telling me, ‘You should be in Mamilla,’” Maayan told KNI. “I didn’t think it was possible and didn’t even know how to get there.”
When Maayan contacted Mamilla’s exhibit curator about how to display his work he was interviewed on the spot and scheduled to display three pieces for one year. The curator was looking for a biblical theme and she requested a smaller piece that was already completed plus two life-size pieces from a record of Maayan’s past works — a life-size bronze sculpture of Moses holding up a serpent and David being anointed as king in front of his brothers, a combination of bronze and concrete.
The David is going to be the largest sculpture in Mamilla when completed. David, himself a freestanding bronze sculpture, will be surrounded in a semi-circle wall comprised of seven abstract figures representing his brothers.
In Hebrew the name of the Moses sculpture isראה אתו וחי — Look at him and live. It holds a message of healing.
Maayan studied art in college in South Africa where he encountered Yeshua. After Maayan got saved he gave up art until one day, while looking after inner city children in Johannesburg, he entertained the children by drawing scenes from Yeshua’s life for them to color. From that time he picked up his art.
“It’s been a struggle of not wanting to pay too much attention to doing art, but lately I’ve felt free,” he said. “I’m going to paint, I’m going to sculpt and I’m going to enjoy it and commit it to the Lord.”
From large oil paintings to sculptures, his work generally features people and biblical and prophetic themes.
Maayan’s work has been exhibited before in both Israel and his native South Africa and a large body of his paintings and sculptures at the Gilgal Hotel in Tel Aviv. The Mamilla exhibition coming up stands out as particularly prestigious.
One of his pieces is already there, a smaller bronze sculpture of the sacrifice of Isaac. Maayan hopes to complete the Moses sculpture by the end of April with the David following in June. Each sculpture can take up to four months to complete.
A friend of Maayan’s has opened up a crowd-funding page to help him pay for the expensive process of renting a foundry to melt the bronze into the molds he has designed. As an incentive, those who donate $3,500 or more will receive a smaller model of the Moses sculpture (45 centimeters) in bronze.
Maayan said the message of the Moses sculpture is about the faith to be healed from your afflictions and is looking forward to that being prominently displayed in Jerusalem.