My article “Painting the Commandments, All 613 of Them” appears in the Jewish Daily Forward. Here’s the lede:
While Archie Rand was eating lunch at an Indian restaurant in Manhattan’s East Village in 2014, his agent told him and his wife that she’d landed a book deal to publish his series of 614 canvases — one per Old Testament commandment and an extra title painting. “I thought that some hippie in Saskatchewan had proposed mimeographing the text onto Xeroxed sheets of recycled Yoo-hoo labels,” said Rand, who serves as a professor of art at Brooklyn College.
Rand had reason to be skeptical. Back in 2006, when I viewed the works in Rand’s studio — two years before they hung very temporarily at a Brooklyn warehouse — I learned that it took Rand and two assistants three days just to prime the canvases.
“It took a while for the impact of this to dawn on me before the three of us did a happy dance in the back of the restaurant,” Rand said of his publishing deal.