The Art of the Question  

"Creation of Wartime III"

The various figures of Adam in soiled uniform, prison coveralls, or refugee garb are contemporary representatives of the one who was banished from Paradise. Like him they must feel that they were dumped into this world, unasked. How can they rise from the rubble where they have landed? Perhaps this explains why they are all in search of God. The most they come up with in my paintings is some mysterious shape, perhaps a hand that signals meaning they must discover themselves.

My imagery derives, of course, from Michelangelo’s Creation of Man, at whose center Gods and Adam’s pointing fingers almost touch. What do these fingers mean to me? The hands seem to be of similar size. Is God creating man in his image, or is this man’s creation of God? Could their gestures express any disappointment or accusation?

—Samuel Bak

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