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Cynthia Ebin

"My focus is the human spirit from which I draw my energy. Elements of human form, animals and nature all play a synergistic role in this unveiling of the great mystery."

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CREDENTIALS

Prizewinner

Nationally Known

Works on Commission

Growing up on the East Coast in the fifties, surrounded by graphic depictions of the Holocaust painted by my father, who escaped from Germany before the atrocities, it was only natural that my sculpture and paintings emerged from the ashes and rubble of great pain and horror.


As a contemporary artist from the Free City of Danzig, my father studied at the New School in New York City and worked with Walter Gropius through the WPA. Losing his mother, who spent her remaining years in Siberia, his father, his brother, and many other relatives to the Holocaust, he continued to be a visceral painter documenting both the war and its social ramifications. These images never left him. He continued to paint up until six months before his death in 1985.


The Holocaust has had a profound influence on all my works then and now.  I emerged a fully practicing artist portraying man’s inhumanity to man, on a personal, emotional, spiritual, and archeological journey. Because of my immediate and historical past, I wanted to freeze a moment in history, capture a society and recreate it as fragile, organic, fragmented, vibrant human forms, full of dignity and respect, love and innocence, spiritually and psychologically aware.


As a sculptor, I was constantly digging in the catacombs of the mind. My work is a vehicle in which I seek to unearth prior existence and give meaning to the here and now. In one body of work, an Archaeological Journey, man’s inhumanity to man is represented by the sculptural depiction of the evolution of the human spirit. Unlike paintings and photographs which can be ignored, sculpture invades the viewer's space and demands and requires an immediate internal response.


Each sculpture is a symbolic testimonial to the strength, both in body and spirit, of the six million Holocaust victims. Created from handmade paper (cotton, linters), they are at once both fragile and strong. Backthrough Woman is modeled from a Holocaust survivor. Her adopted son, Backthrough Child, represents all the lost children.


Repetitive images evoke the seen and the unseen, at once pure and unique individuals. They are unified by continuity, compassion, and community. Neither gruesome nor obvious, these powerful, deliberately abstracted sculptural forms of humanity provoke the viewer to become an involved participant. They are compelled both consciously and unconsciously to examine their personal feelings, comprehension, and unveiling of their hidden emotions.


In the 90’s, Architect Michael Jourdan worked with me on the concept of doing a sculpture at the new Martyr’s Memorial Museum in Los Angeles. I was invited to exhibit in the planned “Memorial Exhibition of the Holocaust" in Israel at Yad Vashem Museum. One of my works is also in the permanent collection of The Hebrew Union College Skirball Museum. After seeing my sculpture in 1990, Professor Elie Wiesel recommended my work to the new United States Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. In 1989, I was in an invitational exhibition at the Jewish Community Museum in San Francisco.  In 2013, my Holocaust body of work was introduced per invitation into the archives of the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C.


I was invited and exhibited at the Jewish Community Center, Tenafly, NJ for their 1991 Holocaust Memorial. I also was engaged by the West Coast United Jewish Appeal to lecture and exhibit my work with their fundraising activities.


After my solo exhibition at 14 Sculptors Gallery in Soho, New York in March of 1990, the curator of the Jewish Museum in New York visited my studio in Woodland Hills, CA. The Museum expressed interest in acquiring Backthrough Woman in clay and another work for their permanent collection.


Please note that life sized sculptures of Backthrough Woman and Backthrough Mother are modelled directly from Jenny Scovis , an attorney from Thousand Oaks California who is a Holocaust survivor.


I am also including a color copy of my father’s depiction of the concentration camp that I have lived with and been influenced by since I was a child. I envision, as presented here, the physical collaboration of my dad’s painting of the concentration camp enlarged underneath my Excavations of the Soul as a shadow dimension of this darker reality.

Horse Power - Carousel

Acrylic, Mixed media and collage

48 x 36 inches

Horse Power - The Hunter

Acrylic, Mixed media and collage

48 x 36 inches

Horse Power - The Warrior

Acrylic, Mixed media and collage

48 x 36 inches

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