Nasielski 1938 Sketches (Spring of 2022)

These graphite & charcoal sketches are 8 1/2″ by 5 1/2″ and represent faces and scenes that appear in a 1938 film taken by an American tourist named David Kurtz in the Jewish quarter of the Polish village of Nasielski. Although the film is only a few minutes long it is a poignant testament to the humanity of a community on the brink of unspeakable horror. My maternal grandparents were Jewish refugees who escaped Poland in 1939 with my mother, and who ended up in Gulag before arriving in the United States. For these sketches, I wanted to dwell on some of the fleeing faces and moments in Kurtz’s video, which you can read about and watch here (there are 2-3 Kurtz film clips on a slider). Kurtz’s film is also the subject of a new documentary: trailer here. My sketches were made in the Spring of 2022.

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