The Bar Mitzvah of Solomon Robatzki by Darlene Campos

Happy holidays, everyone. Today we present another wonderful story by Darlene Campos, a writer who’s been featured in both our chapbook and this website. We’re sure you’ll enjoy it.

The Editors

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The Bar Mitzvah of Solomon Robatzki by Darlene Campos

Levi Robatzki, the rabbi of Congregation Beth Shalom, was scurrying around his Lower East Side neighborhood to run pre-Shabbat errands. As usual, he was continuously being stopped for questions.

“Rabbi, how often should I pray?”

“Rabbi, how often should I read the Torah?”

“Rabbi, which bakery has the best challah bread?”

“Which bakery has the best challah bread?” Levi gasped to his crowd of followers. “Any good rabbi would know it’s the one on East Houston Street!” Continue reading

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The Breaking Point and Visual Storytelling: An Interview with Jairo Razo

Jairo Razo

By Max Gardner

Jairo Razo’s work is featured in our fall 2012 chapbook. His piece, “You Should Have Never Left,” set the tone for the issue as the cover image; his work “Memoir” also added a visual aspect to the short story “Sandra.”

The artist was born in 1990 in Houston, Texas. His introduction to artistic expression began when he was 14 in his technology class, where he made stop-motion movies out of clay figures. Later on at Spring Woods High School, where he was acquainted with Adobe Creative suite, he learned what he thought was “Graphic Design.” After arriving at the University of Houston School of Art, his mind was opened by his professors to a world where anything and everything could be a potential tool to create conversations with people through visual mediums. To help push his understanding of art and the world around him, he continually works in many fields, including photography, videography, and graphic design.

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In your piece “You Should Have Never Left,” the red splatters are startling on the black background and the piece immediately pulls you in. It’s almost as if the longer you stare at it, the more you realize that there is something new you did not see at first, such as the three-dimensional shadowing to the paint portions. The title is also very suggestive. What exactly were you going for with this piece emotion-wise, and how did you go about creating it?

“You Should Have Never Left” had been in my mind for a while, and it wasn’t until a few months ago that I was finally able to sit down and actually create the piece. I tried to bring a lot of energy and movement onto the canvas and thought of achieving this by using a vibrant color that simply pops on the black background and further accentuating that vibrancy with highly erratic paint strokes. Continue reading