People from all colors and backgrounds where seen entering the exhibition of the work of Daniel von Weinberger at the “Say What?” Gallery in Tannersville NY.
Daniel Von Weinberger is an extravagant Jewish jewelry designer from Antwerp, Belgium. He studied jewellery, fashion and theatre design at the Royal Academy of Art in Antwerpen and Precious Metal Worker from 1965 until 1973. After that he learned enameling at the Bezalel Academy in Jerusalem, followed by a year in sculpture in Antwerp. His work has been exhibited throughout Europe, the Middle East and Asia and his designs have been included in numerous art publications world wide.
Von Weinberger’s jewelry is extravagant, composed of all sorts of materials from plastic toys and beads to glass shards and ribbon with just about everything in between. He draws inspiration from the intangible, bringing his ideas to life in his designs. He has the reputation of being the most extravagant of the modern jewel designers.
“Art is when you are touched. Something has to happen. I’m sorry, but when I look at the art world now, I hardly feel anything there. It’s completely commercial and there’s no emotion anymore. What I do is for people to wear and enjoy.” says Von Weinberger “The Rebbe Rayatz writes that ‘art is the light of the moon on the water and the wind in the wheat field.’ That is art – that which cannot be grasped.”
“You don’t often meet artists whose work celebrates the pleasures, pains and madness of life as wholly as Daniel Von Weinberger does. A teacher, father, artist and religious man, Von Weinberger redefines the word “eccentric” and gives it a new twist. His life is a beautiful marriage of contradictions and paradoxes.” – says Philippe P.
Thanks to his job, Von Weinberger has met thousands of Jews. With most of them far from Torah and Yidishkeit, he has the opportunity to speak with them about Yidishkeit and put Teffilin. Many of them will even come for shabbos meals, or for the Pesach sedarim etc.
“When they come in a gallery in one of the top fashion streets in London, Paris or Manhattan, they aren’t expecting a frum Jew to stand in the center of the crowd – says Von Weinberger – they sometimes even ask me if I’m “for real”. But I am for real, and they realize that.”
Several years ago an art institution worked on a book in which every country around the world would represent one artist. The representative of Belgium was no other then Von Weinberger. In the course of the years Von Weinberger and his work have made headlines in worldwide newspapers, television programs and books. Just last summer his art was on a cover of a book “Fashion Jewelry: The Collection of Barbara Berger”, a book that made it into the New York Times magazine, and in every major book store in the US.
“It’s not about fame” – says Von Weinberger – “The main thing is “Dirah Betachtonim”! As of now the Belgian government has published two large full colored books about my work. In these books I made sure to write about Hashem, the Rebbe and Yidishkeit. Who knows where these books will end up, who will ever know what effect these books have on Jews reading them”.
“When I heard about Von Weinberger’s work for the first time, I was pretty skeptical – says Viviane S. – I didn’t know what to expect when I went to see the show and was amazed by what the man could actually create. I met a truly remarkable person, a person that absolutely loves what he does. What really impressed me was his belief. He is a real Jew – I really learned a lot from him!”
Von Weinberger looks at his job as a Shlichus, every exhibition, and every gallery opening he sees as an opportunity to meet more Jews. There is a very big art world out there – a huge part of it Jewish—waiting to be elevated, waiting to be kashered. With the constant encouragement of the Rebbe, he proudly says that he is being successful in illuminating the art world with the light of holiness, and has positively touched the lives of many Jews worldwide.
Von Weinberger’s art are currently being exhibited at the “Say What?” Gallery in Tannersville NY – which is running until the 14th of September. curated by Charon Kransen Arts.