Artist Spotlight: Alexander Vaisman

One artist who houses their portfolio on ibiblio is Alexander Vaisman, a Yiddish artist whose work is inspired by Jewish culture. He was born in Chernivtsi, Ukraine and currently resides in Israel. During his career, he has worked as a book illustrator and a poster designer, and his pieces have been featured in exhibitions in the United States and Israel. Vaisman works with oil paint, colored pencils, ink, pastel, gouache, acrylic paint, charcoal pencil, and watercolor. 



In Yiddish, klezmorim refers to a group of musicians who play traditional Yiddish music, called klezmer. Vaisman’s pieces in this collection are colorful and dynamic, featuring fiddlers in many different imaginative settings. My favorite images from this collection are this one done with ink on paper and this piece done with gouache!

When I Return… 

This collection, mostly done with oil paint on canvas, depicts elements of Jewish life and culture that have been important to Vaisman. Many of the images in this series focus on family, music, and his experience growing up in a Shtetl. A Shtetl simply means “town” in Yiddish, and it usually refers to an Eastern European village with a large Jewish community. Shtetls are rich in culture and tradition, and each town has its own identity and history. I love this piece, titled Butterfly, which is done with oil paint and has a unique abstract style.

Postcards from Shevchenkivtsi

These postcards are mixed media pieces that consist of photographs, ink drawings, and eclectic stamps. On some postcards Vaisman has added illustrations on top of pasted photographs; other cards only contain one media type. Vaisman uses a cool mark making technique on this postcard, and you should also check out the stamps on this one!

Yiddish Resources

To learn more about Yiddish culture, visit the site Shtetl, Yiddish Language and Culture! This site provides many Jewish genealogical resources, articles about Yiddish history in the 19th and 20th centuries, a catalog of Jewish artists, and even traditional recipes