Ido Michaeli | Rose Garden
Commissioned for a residential space in New York City, Ido Michaeli’s Rose Garden (2021) is one of the artist’s most ambitious projects to date. This site-specific stained-glass installation transforms a pre-existing window into a fantastic medieval courtyard, lush with light, movement and extravagant colors.
Over the past 15 years, Ido Michaeli has developed and conceived a series of site-specific stained-glass windows collectively titled as the Roses Project. In this body of work the artist devised an elaborate iconographic system in which an individual’s romantic life is depicted through a diagram in the shape of a rose bush.
Throughout the history of Western Art, the rose has been an emblem of divine love. Michaeli’s Roses Project utilizes the traditional image to question its historic connotations and renders it anew as a signifier of corporeal love, as experienced between two people.
In Rose Garden, Michaeli constructs an intricate composition of colors and forms to create an allegory of the concept of union. In the center of the window, two ornate rose bushes represent the union between a loving couple. Around them, a set of twelve Tudor roses undulate and meander, creating a botanical representation of the twelve tribes of Israel.
At the bottom of the composition, on each side of the central bushes, two Tudor roses with heraldic shields symbolize Judah and Benjamin–the tribes that are believed to be the origin of the Jewish people. The remaining ten Tudor roses above symbolize the ten lost tribes, which were separated from the Kingdom of Israel after its conquest by the Assyrian Empire in 722 BCE. As the stems of the twelve Tudor roses twist and coalesce, they form a symbolic depiction of the reunion of the tribes into one kingdom.
To establish this complex diagram of love and union, the artist transfigured emotions and histories into graphic symbols. Together, the cumulation of symbols creates a unique visual pattern; a mosaic of relationships, feelings, hopes and dreams.
Through a mesmerizing interplay of motion, color and light, this site-specific commission portrays love and union as both real and ethereal at the same time.
Photographs by Travis Mark, https://travismark.com