February 24, 2014

The 27 Faces of Raoul Wallenberg


Collaboration with the Bezalel Academy of Art, initiated by the Swedish Ambassador to Israel, Mr. Carl Magnus Nesser, has yielded a fascinating and inspiring exhibition of portraits of the Righteous among the Nations, Raoul Wallenberg.

A new initiative by the ambassador of Sweden to Israel, Mr. Carl Magnus Nesser, which aims to bring the Israeli public closer with the work of the Righteous among the Nations, Raoul Wallenberg, led to an engaging process with students from Bezalel Academy of Art and the result – an exhibition of exciting portraits, to be presented at the home of the Ambassador of Sweden to Israel, which will open in a celebratory event featuring artists, diplomats and businessmen.

The process began in a workshop held last November, led by the artist – Joseph Crispell, a lecturer in the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design. The workshop was attended by students from all departments at Bezalel, during which exposed the work of Wallenberg, his exciting life story and his heroic actions in saving tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews – using archive material – images, texts and more. Bezalel teachers accompanied the process of knowledge and creativity, as well as a representative from the Embassy of Sweden. Students were asked to create a portrait of Wallenberg, which will express his personality as reflected in their eyes, given the information they had learnt. At the end of the process, 40 different unique, new and interesting portraits were submitted, each of which illuminates Wallenberg differently and brings a statement and personal interpretation. 27 of them will be displayed in an exhibition at the home of the Ambassador.

Three of the participant students, whose works will be selected, will receive scholarships from the Swedish Embassy at a total worth of ILS 15,000. The panel of judges includes: Mr. Carl Magnus Nesser – Swedish Ambassador to Israel, Mr. Eli Petel – Head of the Art Department and Mr. Joseph Crispell – artist and lecturer at Bezalel. Awarding the scholarships will be held at an invitation-only event, and afterwards the exhibition will open to the public.

According to Mr. Nesser: “The art of portraits manages to catch the unique physical and emotional characteristics of people, their strength or vulnerability, modesty or dignity. The portrait is an island and a unique mass of images. I’m happy about the enthusiasm of our partners in the Bezalel project, and as for the amazing results that exceeded all expectations. The students experienced a learning journey that was no less than fascinating, and the workshop was full of energy and excitement, and the end result is rich with expression and variety. Three works will entitle their creators with a fine scholarship, and will be presented at the Embassy of Sweden on permanent display”.

About Wallenberg

Raoul Wallenberg was a Swedish architect, businessman, diplomat and humanitarian. He is widely celebrated for his successful efforts to rescue tens of thousands to about one hundred thousand Jews in Nazi-occupied Hungary during the Holocaust from Hungarian Fascists and the Nazis during the later stages of World War II. While serving as Sweden’s special envoy in Budapest, Wallenberg issued protective passports and sheltered Jews in buildings designated as Swedish territory saving tens of thousands of lives. Wallenberg has been the subject of numerous humanitarian honors in the decades following his presumed death. Israel has designated Wallenberg one of the Righteous among the Nations. Monuments have been dedicated to him, and streets have been named after him throughout the world.

Raoul Wallenberg – a joint exhibition of portraits with the Bezalel students and the Embassy of Sweden on view on February 20th, 23rd-25th from 10 AM to 12 PM at the home of the ambassador of Sweden in Herzliya Pituach, Israel.