...An art box is a container that is itself part of the art—an intimate way to hold and study small format art. Alex’s art, much of it drawn on small sketch pads while traveling, taking a break as a soldier in the IDF, or at other unplanned moments, is ideal for an art box...
Alex's Art Box: How it Began and How it was Accomplished
From time to time, people who had seen Alex’s drawings would say to me, “How can I get a copy of one of them?” I would tuck the question away in my head. A few years ago, it set me to designing a poster set. Max and I chose 8 subjects, pulled out some of Alex’s words that went with them and I wrote short context paragraphs to go with each subject. I spoke to Yair Medina, master scanner of art and a sensitive and responsive soul, whose studio is Jerusalem Fine Art Prints. We discussed the possibility of Yair making poster reproductions of these 8 subjects.
When I opened the file again some time later I realized two things: posters seemed passé as an idea for reproducing Alex’s art but the subjects we had chosen, the Alex writings and the context paragraphs were wonderful. What to do?
In the years of the dormant file, Andi and David Arnovitz, who had moved to the other end of our short street, became friends. And Andi, an artist http://www.andiarnovitz.com who bursts with ideas and sensibilities reflected in her own art, became the person I immediately thought of to help me decide what next.
After reading what had been chosen and written for the poster project, Andi suggested an art box, a container for art that is itself part of the art—an intimate way to hold and study small format art. Thinking about Alex’s art, much of it drawn on small sketch pads while traveling, taking a break as a soldier in the IDF, or at other unplanned moments, the idea of a box with prints of Alex’s art seemed just right. It would sit on a table, waiting to be opened, offering someone the possibility of handling each one up close, of shuffling them in different order, of reading the words with the art.
Each element had to be the best possible: the scanning of the art and printing on fine paper, the simple beautiful box, a silkscreen detail of an Alex drawing on the box cover, and the small booklets containing the captions and telling about Alex and the Alex Singer Project.
The first task was to choose the drawings to be included in the box. We chose 50 subjects and put them all around our living room in Jerusalem, each numbered from 1-50. Max and I, our friend and neighbor Jean-Marc Liling, Yair Medina, Andi Arnovitz, our sons Daniel and Saul, and Saul’s wife Wendy gathered to rate our choices on a good, better, best scale. From this input we ultimately chose 18 subjects--from Alex’s self-portrait at age six, his time in Europe as a junior in college, living in Jerusalem, through his experiences as a soldier and officer.
Yair Medina’s scans, printed on the paper he chose, were startlingly accurate when held against the originals. The pale maple wood box with its delicate detail of Alex’s drawing on its cover is an ideal container for the art.
We decided to produce a limited edition of 36 Alex art boxes. We made 16 to start. The remaining 20 in the edition are now available. There will be no more.
The price of the art box is $500. The total amount is deposited in the Alex Singer Project, covering the cost of making the box, supporting educational projects in Israel and North America connected to Alex’s words and art and to contributing to a documentary film now being produced about Alex.
January 16, 2013