Chaim Bezalel was born in New York City in 1949 and grew up in Dobbs Ferry, NY. He received a B.S. in Radio, TV, and Film from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. After graduating, he spent several years on his own photography, working at a variety of jobs, some of them for photo-essays. In 1988 he moved to Israel and established Bezalel-Levy Editions which published his and his wife’s work in various media under a combined signature of Bezalel-Levy. He has published ten books, four in collaboration with his wife, which include his artwork and writing.  He currently works in painting, ceramics, photography, film, and music in mixed media. He is a published poet. 

Objects of Veneration

An artist’s homage to the anonymous artisans of the past. As a boy, I collected handmade objects from all over the world. Only later did I begin to learn the meaning of these objects within their culture or religion. Many of these paintings are from objects in my own collection and some from artifacts I have seen in other collections.

NYC – Return for Redemption

In 1975, at the age of 25, I returned to New York, the city of my birth, to decide whether to become an artist or a stockbroker. I had been living in California with a woman who would become my first wife. On a road trip to Chicago, too late to attend her father’s funeral, we had argued and she had let me out of the car in the middle of the night in the middle of Wyoming, a mile from the Greyhound station. I decided to take the first bus, east to New York or west to L.A. The bus brought me to L.A., but after a short visit I decided to return to New York. I was broke, and the city was experiencing a crisis, facing the prospect of bankruptcy.  I did become a licenced broker, a job which I pursued for ten years. In 1988, I left the United States for Israel with two suitcases. Ten years later in New York, I came into possession of several boxes of slides which I had taken in 1975. These slides served as subject material for a series of paintings which I began in 2019 and which is a continuing body of work.

5 1/2 minute video of paintings by Chaim, by Yonnah, and by our collaboration accompanied by original song, “You Can’t go Home Again” and Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue.”

Assemblage and Installations

 My grandmother, whom I loved, was neurotic about dirt, and for my first five years we lived nextdoor. So it is appropriate that I began my scupture career in such a way as to keep my hands clean. I rolled out the dryest, whitest porcelain on a slab roller and tore off pieces, to which I affixed laser slide decals to be fired in permanently. It was only after several years that I took the plunge and mixed a pail of wet, sludge clay with sawdust, getting it up to my elbows. This cured me to work with clay as clay.

1 minute video of a kinetic sculpture with a soundtrack from a televised fashion show broadcast in New York City.

The Bible is not for Children (Sculptures)

In 2020, we were staying in our second home in Israel, when, due to the pandemic, we could not return to America for 15 months. However, we made good use of our time. I joined a ceramics workshop in the neighborhood and was inspired to begin a series of small sculptures of Biblical characters and scenes each accompanied by a poem depicting some of the difficult parts of the Hebrew Bible. The project became a book, “The Bible is not for Children.”

Life Masks

These are all life-masks. The wet clay pressed against my own face and then takes on a life of its own. Here is a sampling of the many masks I continue to make whenever the mood strikes.

6 + 15 =


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