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To Catch a Cloud

Shayna Friedman

Mati Horowitz has spent the last three years developing a series of acclaimed fine art portraits of gedolim. A glimpse of her collection — and the spirit behind it.

Monday, June 02, 2014

Second grade holds first space on Mati’s artistic time line. Sitting in class, she drew three wedding dresses on a sheet of lined paper. Noticing them in her knapsack, her parents complimented her inborn talent. “Save it in your archives,” her mother, the Bostoner Rebbetzin, told her. Mati spent her summers hunched over a sketchbook, copying pictures from coloring books; during the school year she drew ribbons and curls. “I also drew eyes,” she reminisces, “lots of eyes.” In fact, Mati’s only foray to the principal’s office was the result of her drawing in class. “I was in seventh grade. I always thought better when I was doodling.” Mati shrugs. “I never did get that drawing back.” Although Mati did not receive much in the way of art instruction at school, that lack was compensated for at home. Mati fondly shares her most memorable hooky-playing experience — initiated by her mother. “Missing school was not something my mother sanctioned, but when one rare available morning presented itself, she took me to PK Art Supplies. It was like being in a candy store. There were so many things to choose from. We bought pads of fancy papers and a package of pencils. I got my first paint there.” This trip plus her parents’ insistence to “keep drawing,” kept Mati involved in art during her formative years.

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