|Judaica painter and calligrapher|
|a painter of traditional Jewish themes, he also follows his family tradition of calligraphy.|
Michael Elkayam, an Israeli Judaica artist, depicts the Jewish life-cycle in his work. He comes from a family of calligraphers and he follows the family tradition including it in his art. He lives and works in Israel.
Michael Elkayam was born to a traditional Jewish family in Morocco in 1954. At the age of three the family decided to make aliyah to Israel. Elkayam grew up in a creative atmosphere as the family were skilled craftsmen. They worked mostly in copper producing jewelry, ornaments and inscriptions in relief. His family was also very experienced calligraphers and scribes and Elkayam was able to appreciate and learn this traditional craft at home.
Michael Elkayam was encouraged to pursue his own path and while at the Mikve Israel Agricultural High School in Tel Aviv he took many art classes. He went to a variety of workshops where he studied graphics, painting and sculpture. After high school he went to the Beersheva Academy of Fine Arts. Elkayam then continued his training at the Bezalel Academy in Jerusalem, specializing in graphics.
Elkayam uses traditional Jewish images in his art, creating Judaica for the Jewish home. Michael Elkayam works in a variety of media, including chalks and watercolors, in addition to conventional oils. He is also uses his skills as a calligrapher in his art. Elkayam not only incorporates calligraphy in his paintings, he creates illuminated blessings for the home, ketubot (marriage document) etc. sometimes using traditional black ink on parchment. Michael Elkayam’s pieces are often quite mystical in nature, and reflect the Jewish religious life cycle. Elkayam also uses a combination of traditional painting techniques with modern materials to create mixed media pieces, sometimes in 3D in addition to limited edition prints of his work. Michael Elkayam’s subjects are taken from the Bible, the Festivals, the synagogue, and of course the home.
Michael Elkayam exhibits regularly in Israel and abroad and his work can be found in galleries and online. He is a member of the Israel Association of Artists and Sculptures.