Growing up, Mauricio Alberto Avayu Eidelstein spent a lot of time in his bedroom in Santiago, Chile, focused on creating and materializing his inner world.
Now 53 and an accomplished mural artist based in Aventura, Florida, Avayu is responsible for several large-scale murals and other highly detailed works featured in buildings and exhibits around the world. One of his most recent commissioned works appears in the new Jeffrey D. Schwartz Jewish Community Center in Taipei, Taiwan, which opened to the public in December 2021. The complex, which is Taiwan’s first Jewish community center, was created by the former Clevelander. Jeffrey D. Schwartz and his wife, Na Tang. In addition to the mural that appears in the JCC Ballroom, some of Avayu’s other works are owned by foreign dignitaries and nationals, and decorate several synagogues around the world.
As a Chilean Jew, Avayu told the Cleveland Jewish News he’s always been drawn to Jewish art, even from a young age when he realized other artists didn’t understand art. Jewish experience.
“Renaissance artists used to say that every creation is a portrait of the artist,” he said. “One day, seeing a scene from Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, I realized that while he was a great genius, he had many serious errors in the way of telling the story of the Torah. He changed the deep meaning of the sacred texts. It was then that I decided to begin what would be my project and the legacy of my life – which thanks to Gd, this path has been illuminated. Hundreds of hours of study and hard work, perfection, inspiration and discipline are its main ingredients.
Although the Chilean Jewish community is “very small,” Avayu said he was fortunate to have access to the “best Kabbalah teachers” and the “extreme generosity of the great rabbis to teach me and help me. to study”.
“It gave me the opportunity to paint the great works that already exist in several countries around the world, including Israel, Chile, Mexico, Israel, the United States and Taiwan,” he said. “(People) have already been able to appreciate and be inspired by the beauty of their images and get excited about the hundreds of details decoded for viewers to understand.”
Specifically for his Jeffrey D. Schwartz Jewish Community Center project, Avayu said Schwartz contacted him directly via email, saying the mural “touched his heart.” The mural in the Taipei JCC, which is made up of three pieces, is part of a larger mural project, called the “Beresheet” Torah Mural.
“We worked out some details of the job with him, his wife and the rabbi of the Chabad Synagogue in Taipei,” he said. “Mr. Schwartz also commissioned limited-edition oil-retouched silk prints of this mural, one of which was given to the Vice President of Taiwan and other guests at the inauguration in December. 2021. …Finally, part of the Torah mural has found a home where it could be seen by many people and it will share all the information and wisdom of the Jewish people.
As for ongoing projects, Avayu said his studio is constantly overflowing with pieces that he would consider “in progress.” He also continues to work on parts of the Torah mural “Bereshit” – which when completed will consist of 40 parts.
“It’s a unique project, the closest being the Sistine Chapel,” he said. “Today, this Torah fresco is more than a project, it is a reality. When completed, it is over 164 feet long and will be displayed in a circular form. This will be the first time a Jew has taken up this challenge. I hope I can find the support to be able to continue and complete it. If I could only focus on this work, it would take me five years to complete. I just hope he continues to bring light to each of his viewers.