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Zachary Balber uses portrait photography to uncover the camouflaged identity of some of Judaism’s most unconventional Jews, in his series Tamim.
The photographer, a rising star in Miami's art scene who is fast gaining national acclaim,
is Jewish himself and connected strongly with the men he photographed.
Through this series, he re-connected with his own heritage.
This is the first time these photographs have been exhibited in full color, some are new and have never been shown.
Some of the monumental images were printed as large as possible, to show the subjects at two or three times their human scale.
many of these men have serious tattoos, this creates the effect of
transforming a portrait into a landscape experience for the viewer ‒ the markings across their flesh forge an explicit landscape.
Devon, by Zachary Balber. Archival pigment print on Hahnemuhle paper.
Tamim roughly translates from Hebrew as “perfect."
The artist asked each of the men to wear his kippah (the head covering that Balber was Bar Mitzvahed in), however they saw fit.
Joshua, by Zachary Balber. Archival pigment print on Hahnemuhle paper.
"Our museum wanted to explore the subject of tattoos, because our many
of our younger audiences were sharing their stories about how they were
deliberating whether or not they should ink or not ink," said the museum's Executive Director, Susan Gladstone.
wanted to identify a young, Florida Jewish artist who has a strong
following among young art lovers, so that we could explore this subject
through his art. We found Zachary Balber, his work is already in the
permanent collections of prominent institutions and major collectors,
and his series Tamim featured many young Jews with tattoos."
Tony, by Zachary Balber. Archival pigment print on Hahnemuhle paper.
of these men have serious tattoos, this creates the effect of
transforming a portrait into a landscape experience. The markings across
their flesh forge an explicit landscape.
In Balber's photographs, the men reveal themselves. They expose their problems, heritage, insecurities, fears and humanity.
What followed was a mutual odyssey of reconnecting to their culture, for both the subjects and the photographer.
Many of the subjects felt like outsiders, sharing common life challenges such as incarceration, addiction, recovery and rehab. Like Balber, they also felt estranged from their culture and their families.
Pimpy Pat, by Zachary Balber. Archival pigment print on Hahnemuhle paper.
their rough "Rambo-Jew" exteriors (as Balber calls them), through their
gaze into his camera lens they reveal a surprising boyish innocence.
The viewer cannot escape the humanity in these images.
In these photographs they each stand proud for the camera and unashamed to be themselves - the meaning of Tamim. These portraits cut through uncharted terrain.
guys can, and do, belong,” says Balber. "No one seems to be talking
about these types of outsiders in this way.” Balber describes them as
his very own “lost tribe of outsider Jewish men.” This series includes a portrait of the artist Typoe (below).
Typoe, by Zachary Balber. Archival pigment print on Hahnemuhle paper.
their rough "Rambo-Jew" exteriors (as Balber calls them), through their
gaze into his camera lens they reveal a surprising boyish innocence. The viewer cannot escape the humanity in these images.
and the men in these photographs shared their experiences of being
disconnected from the world. He used portrait photography to uncover the
camouflaged identity of some of Judaism’s most unconventional Jews.
Efraim,by Zachary Balber. Archival pigment print on Hahnemuhle paper.
connected with the men he photographed, and this helped him rediscover
his own heritage, in new ways that were different from his childhood
exposure to organized religion. Through the course of his own similar
life challenges, Balber met and helped these men, who also took him
under their wing, as they worked together on bettering their lives.
want to emphasize the tenderness of their gaze by enlarging the
subjects beyond the size of traditional portraiture,” says Balber.
photos are like my smoke-signals to the rest of my Jews out there who
also feel like outsiders ‒ where are you?" says Balber.
“I hope others who also feel estranged from their culture come to see
this series, including other Jews who haven’t been inside a Temple in a
long time because they feel like they don’t belong." My hope is that
they feel more comfortable coming to an art exhibition, at this
historic, beautiful Synagogue that means so much to the community and is
now a gathering place for art."
a child, his father took him to Israel and they visited the Yad Vashem
Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem. This is where Balber was impacted by the
power of photography.
he witnessed how photographers captured these stark, horrific realities
and this life-changing moment inspired Balber to become a photographer.
These portraits cut through uncharted terrain.
MORE ABOUT THE ARTIST ZACHARY BALBER:
Balber was born in Pittsburgh in 1983 and moved to Miami at the age of
thirteen, where he received his first camera. Years later, while
attending New World School of the Arts, he was hired to assist the
fashion photographer Bruce Webber, assisting Webber in his campaigns for
Abercrombie and Fitch, Vera Wang, and Vanity Fair Magazine.
attended New World School of the Arts, graduating Summa Cum Laude,
majoring in creative photography. His work has been exhibited at: Art
Basel, The Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art; The American Jewish
University (LA); The Frost Art Museum FIU; MOCA NOMI; FAU Museum OCCA;
(CIFO) Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation; Locust Projects; Spinello
Gallery; Fredric Snitzer Gallery; The Armory; Art Hong Kong; Primary
Projects, and Center for Fine Art Photography (CO); Hinge Gallery
(Chicago); among many others. www.gingerphotoinc.com.
ABOUT THE JEWISH MUSEUM OF FLORIDA FIU
Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU is located in the heart of Miami Beach’s
Art Deco District, at 301 Washington Avenue on South Beach. The museum
serves as a major cultural attraction and source of information for a
wide audience of residents, tourists, students and scholars of all ages
and backgrounds from throughout the state, nation, and the world.
in a former synagogue that housed Miami Beach's first Jewish
congregation, the museum's restored 1936 Art Deco building and 1929
original synagogue are both on the National Register of Historic Places.
The 301 building features nearly 80 stained glass windows, a copper
dome, marble bimah and many Art Deco features including chandeliers and
Jewish Museum of Florida is accredited by the American Alliance of
Museums. The museum is open Tuesday-Sunday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Closed on
Mondays and holidays. Admission: Adults $12; Seniors $8; Families $24;
Members and children under 6 always free; Saturdays-Free. For more
information, please call 305-786-972-3175 or visit jmof.fiu.edu.
Fall Festival 2019: 16 days. 74 programs. 170 presenters.
It's been a wonderful whirlwind, and one that wouldn't have been possible without our members.
If you enjoy the work we do, we hope you'll consider becoming a CHF member. Besides paying a crucial role in fulfilling CHF's mission of bringing important conversations to all, CHF members also receive early access and discounted tickets to our events.
For a limited time, we're offering $15 off of a CHF Friends level membership. We can't wait to welcome you into our member community!
ICE SKATING AT MILLENNIUM PARK PRESENTED BY HILTON OPENS FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 15
Opening Day Program to Showcase Skating Performances at 11 a.m.
Other Programming Includes Free Ice Skating Lessons and DJ Nights
Ice Skating at Millennium Park presented by Hilton opens for the season (weather permitting) at the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink on Friday, November 15. At 11 a.m., a special program will feature performances by the professional skating group American Ice Theatre Chicago as well as the celebrated Starlights Synchronized Skating Teams, who are part of the current TEAM USA and current World Junior Competitors. Open skating and free lessons will follow the program and performance.
Park Campus is a magical place to be during the holidays and throughout
the winter months,” said Commissioner Mark Kelly, Department of
Cultural Affairs and Special Events. “Visitors and residents are invited
to make memories with family and friends while ice skating,
celebrating, singing and experiencing the heart of Chicago’s cultural
The Winter Workouts program will again offer free skating lessons
for all ages and skill levels, one hour before the rink opens. The
lessons take place on Fridays (usually 11 a.m.), Saturdays and Sundays
(usually 9 a.m.), during School Winter Break (December 21–January 5,
daily at 9 a.m., except December 25 and January 1), Martin Luther King
Jr. Day (January 20, at 9 a.m.) and President’s Day (February 17, at 9
a.m.). Grant support for Winter Workouts ice skating lessons is provided
by the McDonald’s Active Lifestyles Endowment, managed by the
Millennium Park Foundation.
Additionally, each first and third Thursday starting in December will feature DJs spinning music for everyone spinning on the rink from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday DJ Nights are made possible by the Millennium Park Foundation.
McCormick Tribune Ice Rink is located in Millennium Park on Michigan
Avenue between Washington and Madison Streets. Skating is FREE and open
to the public, with skate rentals available for $13 from Monday to
Thursday and $15 on Friday to Sunday and holidays. The rink is open from
November 15 through March 8.
Ice skating in Millennium Park is presented by Hilton. Hilton Guests will receive up to two pairs of complimentary ice skates
per room reservation. Claim yours by showing a current room
reservation confirmation email for any of Hilton’s 17 brands to the
skate rental desk. Learn more at travel.hilton.com/ChicagoSkates.
skating in Millennium Park is synonymous with Chicago’s holiday
season,” said Andrew Flack, Vice President, Regional Marketing &
eCommerce Americas at Hilton. “Collaborating with Chicago’s iconic
attractions and experiences is part of our commitment to Chicago’s
tourism industry. It is a pleasure to work in partnership with the city
of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events to
provide Hilton guests an opportunity to create memorable holiday
Park will be the epicenter of holiday cheer for the City including,
Chicago’s official Christmas Tree, ice skating, music, exhibitions, an
art market and other free family fun. The 106th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will take place on Friday, November 22, at 6 p.m., featuring music performances, Santa Claus and more.
Millennium Park Campus will be home to family fun and holiday
traditions for the entire season. From the Skating Ribbon in Maggie
Daley Park to the Wreathing of the Lions at the Art Institute of Chicago
on November 29 and others, information on events at Maggie Daley Park,
the Art Institute of Chicago, the Lurie Garden, the Harris Theater for
Music and Dance and the Park Grill can be found by visiting millenniumpark.org.
Millennium Park holiday events are produced by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and made possible by the Millennium Park Foundation, with support from the Chicago Transit Authority and Millennium Park Garages. Admission to all events is free.
Park is located on Michigan Avenue, bordered by Randolph St. to the
north, Columbus Dr. to the east and Monroe St. to the south. The Park is
open from 6 a.m.–11 p.m. daily. For the latest news and events,
download the Millennium Park app, visit millenniumpark.org, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @Millennium_Park.
2019 Millennium Park Holiday Programs
For the complete schedule of events, visit millenniumpark.org
106th Annual Chicago Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
Friday, November 22, 6 p.m.
Millennium Park, Wrigley Square, Michigan Ave. & Randolph St.
Enjoy the glittering tree set among Chicago’s sparkling skyline and the iconic art and architecture of Millennium Park. The ceremony will feature music by Grammy®
Award-winning artist Jonathan Butler, Cielito Lindo, a modern Latinx
mariachi made up of the nine-member Lucero family, cast members fromEleanor’s Very Merry Christmas Wish - The Musical and independent music artist and songwriter Skylar Stecker.
Millennium Park Art Market with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Columbia College Chicago
November 22–23, 11 a.m.–7 p.m.
November 24, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.
Millennium Park, Chase Promenade North
your holiday shopping with one-of-a-kind items, including jewelry,
fashion, painting, sculpture, prints, drawings and more on sale by
The Art Market is supported by the Millennium Park Foundation.
Caroling at Cloud Gate
Fridays, November 29, December 6, 13 and 20, 6 p.m.
Millennium Park, Cloud Gate Plaza
Bundle up and belt out some holiday classics as local Chicago choral groups lead hundreds of celebrants in song.
November 29: Sounds Good! Choir
December 6: Mark Hubbard and The Voices
December 13: Chicago Children’s Choir
December 20: Wicker Park Choral Singers
Ice Rink DJ Nights
1st & 3rd Thursdays, December 6 & 20, January 3 & 17, February 7 & 21, March 6, 6–8 p.m.
Millennium Park, McCormick Tribune Ice Rink
FREE Admission; Skate rentals available
Take a spin on the ice rink while local DJs spin music.
DJ Nights are supported by the Millennium Park Foundation.
Sunday, December 8
Dance Lessons–9 a.m. and Noon
Performances–10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St.
fairies and mouse kings of all ages and dance skills are invited to
point their toes to the familiar music of Tchaikovsky’s holiday classic.
Optional dance lessons precede the hour-long participatory
The Dance-Along Nutcracker®,
created in 1985, is the property of the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay
Freedom Band, the world’s first openly gay musical organization.
Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events
Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events is dedicated to
enriching Chicago’s artistic vitality and cultural vibrancy. This
includes fostering the development of Chicago’s non-profit arts sector,
independent working artists and for-profit arts businesses; providing a
framework to guide the City’s future cultural and economic growth, via
the 2012 Chicago Cultural Plan; marketing the City’s cultural assets to a
worldwide audience; and presenting high-quality, free and affordable
cultural programs for residents and visitors.
Millennium Park Foundation
Millennium Park Foundation, a private philanthropic nonprofit partner,
was created in 1998 to support the City of Chicago’s efforts in the
design, construction, and curation of Millennium Park. It is the curator
of Millennium Park’s internationally-recognized icons and public
features. These include the prestigious Jay Pritzker Pavilion and
dramatic BP Pedestrian Bridge, world-renowned Cloud Gate and Lurie
Garden, iconic Crown Fountain, and exquisite Boeing Galleries for public
art exhibitions. Through its ongoing development initiatives, the
Millennium Park Foundation is dedicated to keeping Millennium Park a
free, accessible and equitable venue for all Chicagoans today, and for
generations to come.