Issue #9

  1. Introducing SITRA ACHRA

  2. Talmudic War Machine & A Shadow’s Dream

  3. Bruise Garden

  4. Mascha Kaléko: The Poet, The Stream

  5. Deli on the Move

  6. Bad Butcher

  7. Over or Under

  8. Remove/Release

  9. Renew Our Days

  10. Our Boys: A Travelogue

  11. Vitraji Vulgarum

  12. “Seeing is Not Enough”

  13. Cross-Pollination

  14. Theremin and the Touchless Touch


Naomi Treistman

A blend of styles come together to create this montage composition. In the center of the painting is a silhouette of a faceless woman in profile. She is painted in peach with veins visible along her back. In the foreground, at the bottom of the painting, is a tangled yellow vine and a creased purple fabric. The yellow vine leads from the form to the lower left corner filled with miniature trees clustered together. The vine moves upward to the upper left corner of an abstract scene of faceless people in a cafe. The yellow vine continues to the background, along a dark blue wall. The wallpaper includes individual yellow, blue, green, red, and purple squares with a silhouette of a Disney character on each one. In the upper right corner is a green door. The vine wraps around the wooden door frame into a glowing light. The door is slightly ajar. Seedlings poke through cracks in the floor in the room.
Naomi Treistman, Cross-Pollination, Oil on canvas, 5 x 4’, 2021

A child is sleeping, with a tangled yellow vine for a head. The vine unravels and travels throughout the painting. It revolves around an unfinished subject: a caregiver, abstracted by evil dynamics, who is my second mother. From a comfy bed covered with purple silky sheets, the vine weaves into an aerial view of a park at night. Then, curling upward into the grown-up scene, adults sit around a table in a fancy beige café; the vine goes back to the same bedroom where it all started, realizing an escape through a slightly ajar door from which a beam of light enters the room. Some subjects are recognizable as human, some are plant-human hybrids, and others are just empty silhouettes. Here, a type of hierarchy abstracts the mind of a child, which struggled to find hope in human nature and now looks for its meaning in the nature of plants.

What is it about traumatic memories that make them so powerful, and overshadowing?

Do we feed them evil by remembering? Or is it remembering that will cleanse — exorcise — them? It would not transform them, and it would not erase them. I hope not. I don’t want to grasp onto the evolutionary purpose of memories. Rather, I look to bear a further meaning, a constructive mechanism instead of a survival machine.

How can I construct a place where my worst fears narrate themselves?

I draw a line to define a limit. I curve the line to where my senses guide me, through my memories, I look in, I paint, I look out, look forward.

I remember a deep blue wall, divided by a wallpaper stripe with Disney characters on it. Contained silhouettes that turned into demons at night — with time this reversed, and the brighter the daylight the more terrifying they become. There is the blue, as I remembered, but there’s also that bright light coming through the door, illuminating a path to grow by acknowledging dynamics that constructed those evil memories, and which are still present yet intangible, just as the light source; because maybe I’ll never know what’s behind that green door. That’s not important now. Now, choreograph your eyes around the yellow vine that unravels from a nightmarish sleep into a beige café

the fantasy of an uncut umbilical cord.

Roots, vines and vessels that I render

to remember.

Naomi Treistman is a Jewish Peruvian multidisciplinary artist based in NYC. Treistman started her undergraduate studies at the art institute Corriente Alterna in Lima, Peru. She graduated with a BFA in Visual and Critical Studies at the School of Visual Arts in 2021. She was awarded the Rhodes Family Award.