Gabriela Vainsencher

Gabriela Vainsencher was born in Buenos Aires, raised in Tel Aviv, and currently lives in Brooklyn. She is a mixed-media artist who received her MFA from Hunter College in 2016. Recently she showed a 10 feet long ceramic installation at the Bronx Museum called Mom which represents a multitasking mother of a young baby who looks like a mythological creature.  Past solo and two-person exhibitions include A.I.R. Gallery in Brooklyn, Hanina Gallery in Tel Aviv, Israel; Musée d’Art Moderne André Malraux in Le Havre, France; and La Chambre Blanche in Québec City, Canada. Her work has been included in group exhibitions including The Freies Museum, Berlin and The National Gallery of Saskatchewan, Canada. She will have a solo show at Asya Geisberg gallery in New York this coming February. 

Her Hayom objects: she made very delicate ceramics kiddush cups with symbolic drawings on them. Each piece is unique and handmade. 

Symbols behind each kiddush cup:

One represents the figure of Shabbat Malca. Malca means bride and the sabbath is often referred to as the queen of the week, the sacred day. 

Another is a lighthouse as a reference to the description of the Jewish people as the "Light for the nations". She does not  believe in the moral superiority of any nation or people but she sees the metaphor of the beacon as an ideal of moral and kind behavior to aspire to. 

One of the cups represents a  very narrow bridge (Gesher tzar me'od) because there is a Jewish poem (which has also been set to music and is a very popular folk song in Israel) that says: "The whole world is a very narrow bridge, and the most important thing is not to be scared at all". 

A cup features an image of a double landscape, in which two lakes are trapped within two mountains. One is calm and the other is stormy and wild. “My fantasy of the sacred sabbath (as a Jew who does not keep the sabbath) is that it is like that calm lake, and maybe the kiddush ceremony is the secret passageway between the upheaval of the week and the calmness of the weekend.” 

Two cups are references to the sacred and the quotidian (Kodesh veh Khol). In Hebrew, the word for the sacred or holy is "kodesh" and the word for the quotidian, or non-holy, is “khol", which also means “sand”. In these two cups, the six non-holy days of the week are represented as steps one climbs on, and the top of those stairs is a diving board into the sacredness of the sabbath, labeled "kodesh".