The Brooklyn Rail

JUNE 2021

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JUNE 2021 Issue
The Miraculous The Miraculous: New York

57. (The Bowery)

A French artist who has decided to make his home in New York is sitting at a table in his Bowery studio. In front of him are his favored materials: a small tray containing a mixture of soap and India ink, some sheets of paper none larger than 5.5 by 7 inches and a hollowed-out Chinese paintbrush. He dips one end of the paintbrush into the ink-and-soap concoction and sucks a small amount of the liquid into the straw-like tool. By slowly exhaling he blows a bubble at the end of the brush. Watching the complex interaction of ink and soap on the bubble’s moving surface, the artist waits for the right moment, at which point he utters a word that bursts the bubble onto a waiting sheet of paper, thus fixing an image of phantasmagoric beauty in an instant and forever.

(Roland Flexner)

Contributor

Raphael Rubinstein

Raphael Rubinstein is the author of The Miraculous (Paper Monument, 2014) and A Geniza (Granary Books, 2015). He is currently writing a book about the Jewish-Egyptian writer Edmond Jabès. A Professor of Critical Studies at the University of Houston School of Art, he divides his time between Houston and New York.

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The Brooklyn Rail

JUNE 2021

All Issues