New York, NY – A crowd of eighty art lovers gathered yesterday at the Cultural Space of the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, at the reception in honor of Blessings May Break from Stone, an exhibit of artwork created by Peter Bulow. Bulow, whose mother survived the Holocaust as a hidden child in Budapest, combined new works commissioned by the IRWF with existing pieces to develop a profoundly thought-provoking exhibit in honor of Holocaust Memorial Day.
Deeply expressive bronze statues of Raoul Wallenberg and Luiz Martins de Souza Dantas revealed the strength of the artist’s gift in portraying the inner life of his subjects, two brave rescuers of victims of Holocaust. The sculptures, commissioned by the IRWF, form part of ”The Rescuers Collection” of the Foundation. While observing the statue of Wallenberg, Rebbetzin Friedlander, who met Wallenberg as a 5-year-old girl in Budapest, commented, ”He was just like this.”
Larger-than-life puppets immediately captured the guests’ interest. Part of the theatrical inscenation of ”Stories from My Mother”, a play that Bulow wrote based on the war stories told by Bulow’s family members, the puppets represent the artist’s mother, grandparents, great aunt and great uncle, all Holocaust survivors. ”Stories from My Mother” had five well-received performances in Champaign, IL, in 1994.
”Alzheimer Madonna,” possibly the most famous piece showcased at the exhibit, owes its creation to Peter’s work as a psychiatric resident. It also expresses Bulow’s memories of his step-grandfather, Onkel, an Auschwitz survivor who eventually developed Alzheimer’s Disease.
”The Madonna/Venus in my sculpture is holding an old man who is at the end of his life, but she is in her prime. Together, they form a whole and circle around each other in a dance. The young woman, an image of energy and virility, and the old man, a symbol for memory, are bound together as they are in our own psyches, in which the young self and the old self coexist throughout our lives,” explains Bulow.
”We are delighted to showcase the art of Peter Bulow,” said Daniela Bajar from the IRWF. ”Not only is he a superior craftsman who uses various techniques in his artistic expression, but his work as a psychiatrist, and his personal experience of growing up listening to war stories of his family, have produced a rich, powerful mélange of impressions, insights and visions rarely embodied in one person. That unique perception is visible in all the art pieces presented at the exhibit, and it is what distinguishes Peter’s work from his contemporaries,” concluded Ms. Bajar.
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