Hevel by Joshua Koffman

15th Annual ARC Salon (2020-2021)

Joshua Koffman

Hevel

2020

165.1 × 182.88 × 60.96 cm | 65 × 72 × 24 in

Bronze

  • Honorable Mention / Sculpture

Hevel is a Hebrew word meaning breath, vapor, or smoke. In the Old Testament hevel is used as a metaphor for life’s struggles. Like a wisp of smoke, life is temporary or fleeting. Although there is beauty and goodness in life; in time, it all seems to blow away. We have a sense of justice; however, bad things happen to good people. Life is unpredictable and unstable, like chasing after the wind. Life is an enigma or paradox. Like smoke, it appears tangible, but we can’t hold it. The Book of Ecclesiastes deals with this paradox. However, we all cope with our existence in different ways.


The sculpture, “Hevel”, is a pursuit in understanding and expressing this aspect of humanity and how it struggles with this paradox. The work takes shape as I evaluate the relationships of form and subject by exploring harmony and discord and examining strength and fragility. By reflecting a struggle for balance that is neither criticism nor resolution, the work becomes a deeply layered mirror. In form, the humanity embedded in this metaphor provokes our instincts and speaks to us through our own vivid and visceral vocabulary. The work provides a moment to observe and reflect on our relationships, and it inspires us to celebrate the beauty that humanity itself portrays.