Fifteen years ago, without any idea about the place his work would be exhibited, painter and artist Archie Rand began transforming each of the 613 Jewish mitzvahs, or commandments, into its own breathtaking painting, a series that took five years to complete.
In 2008, Rand mounted an exhibition of The 613 in a Brooklyn warehouse; the paintings covered 1700 square feet of wall space andthe public viewing lasted only four hours on a single day, but more than one thousand people attended. The New York Times featured the exhibition and described The 613 as “a rendered in the style of comics and Pulp Fiction book jackets, a dash of Mad Magazine, a spoonful of Tales of the Crypt, some grotesque, some superheroes, always action, emotion, drama”. Now, in his new book The 613 (Blue Rider Press), Rand collects all of these panels ̶ beautiful, shocking, insightful, funny and transgressive ̶ into a single book, with one painting per page accompanied by the commandment in text.
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