Artist pays tribute to Jewish history in new work

Just like the main subject of the biblical tale that was his inspiration, American artist Mateo Blanco’s latest work came to him in a dream.

The artist, known for using everyday objects to create astounding pieces, is using the work, “Joseph, Coat of Many Colors” to honor Jewish history.

The piece actually has its roots in another of Blanco’s well-known works, “Coat of Many Colors,” which is a portrait of Dolly Parton. For that work, Blanco bought a number of fabrics from a woman in Warsaw, Poland. When he purchased them, the woman told Blanco about Irena Sendler, a woman known as the “Angel of the Warsaw Ghetto,” who helped save about 2,500 children from the Holocaust.

Blanco wanted to find a use for the rest of the beautiful fabric, and as he looked at it, he remembered that story. He also remembered the biblical story of Joseph and the coat of many colors from the Book of Genesis. Still, Blanco was not sure how to bring the piece together.

He prayed, and one night, he had the most beautiful dream of his life. Blanco then translated the dream into his work, creating a series of 25 pieces that depict a strong, content lion, the Dome of the Rock, a bright, golden sun and dazzling colors. The pieces, which are made of the fabric, are kinetic, meaning they look different from different angles.

“Both the story of Irena Sendler and the struggles Joseph faced came together for me in the most fitting way—through a dream, just like Joseph had,” Blanco said. “I aimed to tie in the desperate struggles both Joseph and Sendler faced in this work, ultimately depicting an image of triumph through faithfulness. I hope it serves as a testament to Sendler’s incredible life.”

The pieces are currently on display at ArtSpace Virginia Miller Galleries in Coral Gables, Fla. Pieces can also be viewed on Blanco’s Instagram, @MateoBlancoArt.

Blanco is known for using unexpected daily objects, such as crystals, peanuts, chocolate and more to create portraits of characters in pop culture and history. His work has been met with commercial and critical success and has been displayed around the world. A recent piece—a sculpture of a FedEx truck made of dog hair—is currently on display at the Memphis Zoo.

For high resolution photos of the work, click here.

For more information about Blanco, visit http://mateoblanco.us/. To contact the gallery, email info@virginiamiller.com.

About Mateo Blanco
American artist Mateo Blanco is known for using unusual materials such as peanuts, coffee beans, sugar, and dog hair to create works of art depicting icons of pop culture. His works have been featured prominently with Ripley’s Believe It or Not! and have been displayed around the world. Blanco was born in Miami but currently resides in Orlando. In addition to his artwork, Blanco is a talented opera singer and has performed for George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. For more information, visit mateoblanco.us.