That’s not just vibrant color peeking out through artist Isaac Brynjegard-Bialik’s papercuts — that’s Flash Gordon, the Green Lantern, Spiderman and Wolverine. Brynjegard-Bialik, whose “Paper Tefillah” exhibition opens January 10 at Temple Israel in Memphis, Tenn., combines the traditional art of papercutting with the power of comics to explore prayer and the human striving for connection with God.
Temple Israel commissioned Brynjegard-Bialik to create 16 works exploring the Jewish liturgy, covering the key components of the prayer service, from Barchu to Aleinu. Brynjegard-Bialik, 39, poured himself into studying the texts and reflecting on his own prayer experience. He looked through genizot to salvage pages from worn out siddurim, and raided his childhood comic book collection for the right colors and images to convey the ideas and feelings that were percolating in his imagination.