New Age Ceramics By Rabel Betshmuel

Rabel Betshmuel Sculture_9

Rabel Betshmuel has developed a stunning body of new age Mesopotamian ceramic work. Rabel, a highly critical and progressive artist based in Chicago, makes his living as a graphic designer. His East Rogers Park man cave is quintessential studio/bachelor pad. His walls are draped with surreal, multi media canvases commentating critically on Mesopotamian politics and society. The coffee table in the living room has stacks of books about painters, dead poets, cultural leaders and “How to Speak Spanish for Dummies.” In the back corner of his apartment is a wall that unlike all the white walls in the apartment, is covered with sporadic paint marks ranging from faded colors to bright drips. It’s obvious just by scanning the room that this guy takes his work seriously.

Rabel has developed a series of ceramics pieces that are a modern take on ancient Mesopotamian pottery. His pattern work, which is reminiscent of textures seen in ancient Assyrian reliefs, is applied tastefully and thoughtfully. The colors are of traditional Assyrian art, but have a tone that overwrites what we picture in our minds as ancient and replaces it with a restored glow. What we love about Rabel’s work is that it’s not always literal, in fact most of the time we’re not quite sure what he’s trying to get across. But after a brief explanation and some context, one can see the robust conceptual thinking that goes through this geniuses head.

To see the full body of Rabel’s ceramics pieces and more, visit

To see the full body of Rabel’s ceramics pieces and more, visit

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