Artists have been known from time immemorial as boot lickers of the wealthy and powerful. In the old days, art worked by patronage and you needed to curry favor with your patron. Today, things aren’t so clear. But some artists still know where their bread is buttered. Witness this portrait of Lev Leviev by Michael Khundiashvili. Some of you may know that the Yiddish word for lion is leib or lev, hence the pride of lions that surrounds him (the lions may also be his enforcers and security detail). The artist’s website features many Chabad-related portraits including one of the deceased Lubavitcher rebbe. It can be no accident that Leviev is Chabad’s most important patron in Russia.
My reader Todd turned me on to the portrait, which he first saw at Jews Sans Frontieres. Thanks to both of them for ennobling our artistic purpose with such fine portraiture. Todd points out that the portrait would look especially lovely hanging over the mantlepiece of the $200,000 hand-carved stone fireplace in Leviev’s new $70 million Hampstead home.
Zhu Bajie says
No lambs with the lions that I can see. And what is that building in the far background, ove L.’s head? Al-Aqsa?
But what’s it mean that the temple if floating in back of his head like that? That he thinks he’s moschiach?
Richard Silverstein says
Yup, it IS the Temple. Not to mention the Shabbat candles but with hands facing the candles instead of covering the woman’s eyes. And what to make of the woman in the background…prob. his wife.
Keep in mind the guy’s a Chabadnik & prob. a fierce one waiting for Moshiach. If you’ve read my other posts you’ve noted his involvement w. Elad which is “Judaizing” East Jerusalem. In other words, he’s trying to bring about the restoration of the Temple & coming of the messiah. Gotta resettle Jews everywhere for that & get rid of Arabs. That’s how I’d read it.
I don’t think Lev is much into lambs except as meat for his lions.
Bil’in protests Wall, Leviev, army shoots popular committee member in the head
“The demonstration began as a march towards the gate in the Wall, where soldiers were standing with guns drawn. At the front of the march was the banner, “LEVIEV TURNS THESE ROCKS OF APARTHEID INTO DIAMONDS” in reference to the diamond mogul Lev Leviev, protesting his extensive involvement in the construction of illegal settlements in the West Bank.”
Richard Silverstein says
Todd: Thanks for the link. To me, the activities of the Border Police make absolutely no sense. What are these demonstrators doing that is so dangerous other than challenging the legitimacy of the Wall & of the Border Police themselves? However, I’d be more inclined to write about this story if the rpt. had provided more documentation about the demonstrator’s head injury other than the anonymous claim that a sniper danced after he shot the man in the head. Do you know if there’s been any confirmation of this incident in the Israeli press or anywhere else? I’m not saying it didn’t happen (clearly it did). But I’d like to read more about it.
Richard: There’s not always press there, although with over 200 demonstrations held, the Bil’in protests have been covered a lot. I’ll try to find something about Border Police violence there, but you should check out the film Bi’lin Habiti by Shai Pollack,http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WynTOY04Ac8 which graphically documents violence by security forces as those demos. In terms of what the demonstrators are doing that’s so dangerous, it’s exactly that — non-violence is a threat to the legitimacy of the wall — and I think that’s why it’s violently repressed, to discourage it. check out this video of Border Police in Bil’in shooting an Israeli lawyer in the head w/a rubber-coated lead bullet, without warning or provocation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17Hv6C4rziU
also, Israeli undercover forces have dressed as Arabs and thrown rocks from the demonstration, which is documented in Bil’in Habiti, and I think the JPost, or maybe Meron Rapoport.