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Oded Halahmy

Lesh Lah (Why Not?)

a bronze statue with arabic and english words

Oded Halahmy, "Lesh Lah (Why Not)", 2015, 107 x 41 5/8 x 26 1/4, bronze cast. Gift of the Artist in Memory of his Father & Mother. Image Courtesy Krista Photography

Since 1970, the artist has lived in between Jaffa and New York City. Halahmy refers to his native Iraq as the “land of wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives, and dates.” His sculpture, often in wood and bronze, draws from this set of references. Lesh Lah incorporates symbols with deep significance for both Hebrew and Arab culture—the hamsa and pomegranate—as well as text in Arabic, Hebrew, and English. The Arabic script crowning the sculpture, lesh lah, means “why not?” As a child, Halahmy witnessed the downfall of a harmonious Jewish and Arabic culture, of shared customs and values. Is this achievable again? Why not—Lesh Lah?