New Silver Artwork Unveiled by Renowned NYC Artist Michael Galmer

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Michael Galmer, renowned for impeccable modern silver artwork and design, has unveiled a long-awaited massive sculpture that was a decade-long in the making. The piece accentuates the historical foundations of transition from chaos to order, as portrayed by the bronze roots supporting the city of Jerusalem.

Michael Izrael Galmer alongside "The Ten Commandments" sculpture

“The roots represent a world, raw and without rules,” says Galmer about the base of the sculpture.

Michael Izrael Galmer, well known for creating silver artwork and numerous Judaica for The Jewish Museum of New York over the past ten years, has completed a new masterpiece called “The Ten Commandments,” an expressive five-foot sculpture made of highly engraved sterling silver. The massive piece dwarfs – both in scale and message – the current range of modern Judaica art and is notable for its contemporary yet timeless appeal. Learning of the work of art, museums and other public venues have requested the opportunity to exhibit the sculpture. Scheduling is currently underway for exhibits beginning in early spring 2012.

Michael Izrael Galmer’s reverence for the Ten Commandments and their worldwide impact inspired the masterpiece. The tumult of today’s world makes the message of a unifying moral framework timely. “The Ten Commandments are tenets every religion and every civilized culture can agree upon,” says Michael with heartfelt commitment. Its elements are perfectly balanced, not too many, not too few, and all indisputably righteous.

Stirred by the meaning, Michael Izrael Galmer applied his famed artistic elegance as well. His twenty year history creating hundreds of silver artwork pieces, many commissioned by Tiffany, Gorham and Kirk Stieff as well as Jewish museums and private collections, is a testament to his sensibility of elegance, in every sense of the word. The Ten Commandments incorporates three distinctive concepts and artistic treatments, with balanced significance and weight, literal and philosophical.

The ambitious sculpture towers over viewers and is composed of three parts. The bronze base, formed from a wild, chaotic root, represents the "lawless world before the commandments," according to Michael. “The roots represent a world, raw and without rules.” Emerging from this base is a structured and orderly Jerusalem representing the world after the Ten Commandments, full of intricate detail and structure. From the center of Jerusalem arise large, muscular silver grape vines with ten candles at their tips. “The vines show how pervasive and powerful the Ten Commandments were to the rest of the world’s civilizations," according to the creator.

Known for his technical brilliance in silver artwork and aesthetic sensibility, Michael has created a piece of breathtaking beauty yet, more importantly, a piece which conveys the emotional and philosophical roots of Jewish heritage. The artist’s goal was to create a meaningful work of art that shows the foundations of transition from chaos to order. “I wanted to capture an epic time that gave law and order to the world,” he notes, having studied extensively the influential effect that the Ten Commandments have had on human civilization as a whole. “The Ten Commandments affected all societies worldwide, not just the Jewish population. Even to this day, the rules and the biblical teachings hold true.”

Michael has resisted offers from prominent Judaica collectors and secular art collectors as well. The driving mission for The Ten Commandments was to impact and educate the public at large, not just a private few. After seeing the masterpiece, director Steven Spielberg was interested in using it as the centerpiece of a fundraising event for Chernobyl . As plans progressed to auction the piece to a private buyer, the artist called off the event. Despite wanting very much to contribute to the important cause, he knew the awe-inspiring sculpture and message belonged to the public rather than a private collection.

Michael Izrael Galmer, age 64, was born in Russia , where he earned a doctorate in physics and chemistry while always remaining intrigued by the craft of silvermaking. Upon arriving in the United States three decades ago, Michael studied silvermaking from masters and tested his own self-taught techniques. The artist set up a silvermaking shop in his garage and, supported by his family, pursued his dream. Michael’s reputation for extraordinary talent and technical skill grew, and he was sought by the country’s foremost silver manufacturers for especially intricate, specialized commissioned pieces. Michael Izrael Galmer founded Galmer Silversmiths, Ltd., now known worldwide for extraordinary tabletop pieces and distinctive Judaica.

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