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April 11, 2007 edition

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At Sculpture Contest, a Matzo Piece of Modern Art

By LENORE SKENAZY
March 28, 2007

Heuichul Kim

James Donovan celebrates his first place victory yesterday in the first ever Matzo Sculpture Competition at the Bronfman Center at New York University. The sophomore art student won the $1,000 prize for his replica of Washington Square Arch.

A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T

In the 3,000 years since the Jews fled Egypt with their unleavened dough, no one has come up with anything better to do with it than eat it. And even that's not such a good idea.

That is why it was such a joy to attend the world's first Matzo Sculpture Competition on Monday night at New York University's Bronfman Center. The sponsor — big surprise — was Manischewitz, the country's foremost matzo maker (which, by the way, is now owned by the same holding company that also owns Horowitz Margareten and Goodman's matzo. So much for competition in the kosher aisle).

Matzo, fyi, is the flat, hard "bread of affliction" Jews are commanded to eat on Passover to remind them of the Exodus, when there wasn't time to let the dough rise (or, apparently, acquire any taste).

What can one fashion out of oversize crackers? The finalists in Monday's contest came forth with matzo candlesticks, a matzo Wailing Wall, even a matzo video game, complete with mini matzo Mario. "Super Mario Brothers is a game of conquest but more notably of oppression," the artist's statement read. "You thought it was a game about pizza-eating plumbers? How could you be so nave?"

Uh, easy. Anyway, as a large crowd milled around, examining the sculptures (and, truth be told, also a far more normal art opening going on at the same time), the artists were only too happy to discuss their inspiration.

The official theme was "Home," contestant Eric Goldberg said, and his three little matzo dioramas were meant to represent his parents' home, his grandparents' home, and now (the one with the matzo futon), his own home, as an NYU student.

"They gave me a foundation," he said of his family, and you just know that somewhere out there, there are two generations of Goldbergs very proud that their boy is spending his $39,000 education gluing matzos together.

Continued
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Reader comments on this article

TitleByDate

Where's the Matzo "Security Fence". [34 words]

John P. Jones 

Mar 29, 2007 17:22

  Enough of this Politico-Matza Madness [75 words]

Daniel Brenner 

Mar 30, 2007 14:34

  reply to Mr. Jones [45 words]

Miri 

Mar 30, 2007 14:56

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