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 Mark Podwal  (1946 - )

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Lived/Active: New York      Known for: water-media Jewish themed painting and illustration

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Ad Code: 4
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
"Sherlock Holmes, London Sleuth"
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Brooklyn and raised in Flushing, Queens, Mark Podwal is a practicing dermitologist who has earned a prestigious reputation as an artist.  He does drawings, watercolor and gouache paintings, seder plates and stained-glass windows that reflect his Jewish background.  He also does illustrations with political themes ranging from euthanasia to impreachment for The New York Times, has illustrated the book Fallen Angels by Harold Bloom, and children's books, and has contributed work to a documentary on Europe's oldest extant Jewish cemetery, which is in Josefov, Prague.  In 1998, his children's book collaboration with writer Francine Prose won the National Jewish Book Award.  The illustrations for Fallen Angels have been exhibited at Yale University's Sterling memorial Library.

When asked if he plans to give up his medical practice to devote full time to his artwork, "he answers with a Yiddish proverb: when a man plans, God laughs."

Many of his works have Kabbalistic symbols such as upturned palms that supposedly protect against the evil eye, and the golup, which is a humanoid monster made of mud and given life.

Podwal earned a B.A. degree from Queens College in 1967 and an M.D. from New York University School of Medicine in 1970.  He began pursuing his art talents while attending Camp Cejwin, a Jewish summer camp in Port Jervis, New York.  There he was inspired by what he was learning of his Jewish culture, a subject new to him.

The 1970 shooting of the four students at Kent State University during the Vietnam War protests inspired his political illustrations, which caught the attention of a New York Times editor.

Rachel Somerstein, "The Moon is Matzoh", ARTnews, March 2007

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