Israeli Artist Tomer Peretz Wins Arthur Szyk Prize For Disruptive Thought and Zionist Art

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Arthur Szyk Prize Recognizes Artist Whose Work Has Power to Ignite Conversation on Zionism in 21st Century

The Arthur Szyk Prize for Disruptive Thought and Zionist Art announced it has named artist Tomer Peretz winner of the inaugural prize. The Arthur Szyk Prize—which recognizes an artist whose work has the power to spark new ideas about Zionism in the 21st century—is co-sponsored by Artists 4 Israel (; Tel Aviv-based grassroots organization, Jewish National Initiative (; and the Arthur Szyk Society ( The prize purse is $1,000.

“The Szyk Prize is about showing the positivity, creativity, compassion and diversity that underlies Zionism,” says Szyk Prize Director and JNI co-founder Daniel Fink. “It’s a view that’s too often obscured, in some cases by hatred, but we believe art has the power to tell a different story.”

"Tomer’s work challenges preconceptions of Israel’s role in the artistic dialog,” says Craig Dershowitz, Executive Director of Artists 4 Israel. "His work is alternately ironic and visceral, offering a glimpse into the many realities of Israeli life with a fresh, free ranging style that explores the many facets of Zionism.”

Tomer Peretz is a Los Angeles-based artist and designer who uses a variety of media including oil and acrylic painting, photography and furniture design to express a unique and contemporary point of view. With an appreciation for both the realistic and the abstract, his breadth of work spans contemporary art, pop art, religious art, portraiture, and animation.

“I’m extremely proud to be honored with the Szyk Prize,” said Peretz. “My work goes against the grain of accepted narratives in the art world, especially when it comes to Israel, so the ability to use my art to offer a different perspective is very important.”

Peretz’s artwork has been featured in dozens of exhibitions, including the West Coast Artists show and Project Ethos in Los Angeles where he painted on the body of female model in front of thousands of viewers. Peretz has also exhibited work in clubs from Hollywood (Avalon, Vanguard, Kress, Music Box and Remedy Lounge) to Tel Aviv (Bet HaItonaim and The Breakfast Club), as well as at the L.A. Art Show, H Studio, Apel Design, Bruce Lurie, and Ecletica galleries in Los Angeles; Art Basel in Miami; and “For the Love of Art” at Tokyo Ice. His furniture design has been showcased at the Very Venice Gallery.

The Arthur Szyk Prize was launched to honor artists who demonstrate "exemplary and innovative use of their medium to challenge prevailing conceptions of Zionism and elucidate new meanings of Jewishness today." The prize’s namesake, Arthur Szyk, was a Jewish master illustrator, graphic artist & painter who used the power of his art to advocate for political action and justice, especially for the Jews of Holocaust Europe and blacks in America. Szyk's illuminated edition of the Passover Haggadah is one of the most strikingly original to emerge in generations. Find out more at:

About JNI
JNI is a forum for new ideas on Israel and the Jewish people that looks to use our Hebraic heritage and the tools of enlightened liberalism to approach the major challenges of contemporary Jewish life. Founded in 2006 in Tel Aviv, JNI is a wholly independent grassroots organization that runs the Whiskey Debate Society, organizes protests as well as “support caravans” to embattled populations in Israel, and coordinates fundraising for initiatives that have the power to generate new ideas for Zionism in the 21st century.

About Artists 4 Israel
Artists 4 Israel uses the powerful and universal messages of art to educate, support and provide awareness about Israel. Artists 4 Israel:

  •     Educate artists and create outlets for them to express their support for Israel.
  •     Counter the misconception that the arts community does not support Israel.
  •     Utilize the arts to refute anti-Israel propaganda.
  •     Inform the public about Israel’s beauties and freedoms.
  •     Beautify the landscape and strengthen the spirit of the people of Israel.

About the Arthur Szyk Society
The Arthur Szyk Society is dedicated to the 20th century master illuminator, minitature painter and activist-artist Arthur Szyk (1894-1951). The Society preserves his legacy of activism and artistic excellence through new exhibitions, publications and original scholarship.

Contact: szykprize(at)gmail(dot)com

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Daniel Fink