“With the ‘Paper Tefillah,’ I wanted to capture the meaning and feeling of prayer,” Brynjegard-Bialik says. “To express the feeling one gets trying to communicate with forces so much greater than oneself.
For MaAriv Aravim — a prayer about creation and the rolling back of darkness — Brynjegard-Bialik was inspired by the movement of the planets and cut watercolor stock to reflect their orbits. He backed his cut paper with pieces of prayer books and selections from “Cloak & Dagger,” a short-lived comic series about a teenage super duo who use powers of light and darkness.
“My daughter also loves comic books, and sometimes she is scandalized when she sees me cutting them into pieces,” Brynjegard-Bialik says. “So I have to remind her that I only cut my comics. Hers are sacrosanct.”
In addition to 16 pieces relating to prayer, Brynjegard-Bialik has crafted a special Memphis-centric portrait of King David that borrows playing-card imagery and is backed by images of Elvis cut from a special 1995 issue of Life magazine.