James is my son and a celebrated chef in Connecticut, and also a Buddhist practitioner in the Tibetan tradition. I made this mandala for him, including his martial arts teacher, the Dalai Lama, and his friend and famous chef, Jacques Pepin.
My middle brother is Bob Freedman, a Rabbi and Cantor. In a study session together he told me about the creation story in the Kabbalah (a famous mystical Jewish text) . It is said that at first the world emanated as light from the Source, but there was a cosmic accident and the vessel holding the light of God was shattered and scattered into an infinite number of holy sparks. Life’s purpose is to uncover these sparks and restore the world to its wholeness through compassion.
Gift to my sister-in-law who is a Jungian analyst. It is based on a mandala form that Karl Jung himself painted. The mosaic sculptures are by Niki de Saint Phalle in her huge garden installation, The Tarot, in Italy.
Painted for my oldest brother, Jim Freedman, consultant to the UN and various governments about human rights in some of the world’s most dangerous place - the Congo, Iraq, Afghanistan. He’s also a trickster and after I painted a painting for his wife, Teilynn, in exchange for a poem, he wrote a crazy poem from which I created this painting.