The Radiant Portal: Magical Realism at the SA Jewish Museum

Margie Volks, Zvi Suchet and Hazel Hoberman at the exhibition opening

The SAJM’s summer exhibition opened to a large audience on Sunday 1 December 2019.  

The Radiant Portal, by South African fine artist Zvi Suchet, is a collection of illustrated photographs on the theme of Jewish mysticism. These evocative images form the artist’s entry into the realm of Magical Realism, a genre that weaves elements of fantasy into realistic settings, as he explores the complex world of Talmudic symbolism through his own identity and experience. Zvi Suchet is the Hebrew name of world-renowned photographer, Marc Hoberman, whose coffee table books have been best sellers for decades. 

The Radiant Portal is a departure from Hoberman’s usual work, in terms of both thematic content and form. Inspired by his Jewish identity, Zvi’s distinctive mix of photography and photo illustration was recently reviewed on as “a complete refresh of a centuries-old subject.” 

After guests had had a chance to briefly view the artworks, SAJM Director Gavin Morris delivered his opening remarks and introduced Rabbi Sam Thurgood, who offered his own interpretation of several images as well as insights regarding what Jewish mysticism can add to the personal experience of prayer. 

Delicious snacks and wine were served as guests took their time to view the exhibition more fully and engage in some interesting discussions.

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