Michal Meron’s passion for Jewish themes stems from an avid interest in Jewish teachings. According to her personal creed, everything that comes from Jewish lore can be transformed into an artistic interpretation. This process began with micrography, the ancient art of creating a picture using biblical texts. In the early 80’s, Meron was one of the major exponents of this art form in Israel. The Jewish Museum of Athens commissioned Meron to create a series of paintings showing ten different synagogues of Greece in this particular artistic style.
Since then, Michal’s focus on her artwork has been mainly biblical. Many are the reasons for this rather personal or natural choice.
Common knowledge tells us that “Art is in the eye of the beholder, and everyone will have their own interpretation.” When contemplating a piece of art, different eyes will give it different interpretations. Art work provides its viewers with a vast soil which accepts and gathers all sorts of meanings. When referring to abstract art, this idea gains even more power, since abstract art would be considered as the widest soil where various meanings will easily find housing.
In the Bible we find a very similar idea. The Torah is an open-text; it allows those people who contemplate it, who study it and analyze it to find different meanings in one single text. Meron’s interpretation of the Torah is unique in the sense that with an overly “naive” style, a viewer can find different levels of depth. Interpretations are given on different levels, depending on the level of the mind-soul exploring it.
From the most literal and simple interpretation, to the innermost ones, according to the Torah, they can all be true at the same time. For instance, as we can see in the classic example of the “half full/ half empty” glass of water: two people can look at one glass, have different perspectives yet both will be contemporarily correct. Thus two different and even opposing interpretations can be true at the same exact time.
In fact, as our Sages explain, there are 70 faces to the Bible; one text can be interpreted in 70 different ways, where each of those interpretations gains its legitimacy and independency.
This very basic concept, where we witness the significance of the interpretational spectrum, in both an artistic and biblical realm we find ourselves facing a very essential aspect of the Jewish culture which agains mirrors the artistic world. Diversity literally means the quality or state of having many different forms, types, ideas, etc. When understanding the previously mentioned concepts, our mind can perceive the deep message communicated behind it all.
The Jewish nation is one which puts an emphasis somewhere people are not always eager to discuss, but which is crucial to promote mutual respect and ultimate peace between the inhabitants of the world; the acknowledgement and empowerment of diversity. Where people who differ in their status, personalities or contexts, find a common ground to their personal expressions. The Torah, gathering in harmony all of the various characteristics of diverse individuals (just as we indicated in the case of the recognition of the various biblical interpretations), plays a central role in this approach.
Michal Meron with the typical characteristics of an artist, who holds the natural ability of finding the right harmony between colors, has further expanded the principle of diversity through the mere themes and technique of her paintings. Michal Meron with her artwork is sending a very clear message to all her viewers: acceptance, tolerance and mutual respect, which are the key aspects to making this world a better world.
Michal Meron is a worldwide known artist. She was born in Haifa and received her artistic education in Israel and Austria. Her artwork can be found in households all around the world.