Cover Feature

Libby Klein, Wrapping Jewish Faith and Traditions Into Every Canvas

Photo courtesy of Sarah Fink Studio

Israeli-born artist, Libby Klein intertwines her love of beauty and Jewish faith to bring into her artwork. Breaking barriers and creating a deeper conversation with each piece, Libby creates a new perspective for her art.

As a wife and mother to five children, Libby draws inspiration from her family, her religion and the traditions to create each individual piece. As an upcoming artist who made her debut at Miami Art Basel, Libby makes a beautiful balance between energy, faith, culture and her appreciation for life to create art with infinite depth and new perspective.

After losing her father at five, Libby’s life became more real. She began seeing different viewpoints from such a young age and learned going through life judging can limit so much. From this, Libby began looking at things more deeply. Finding a different, deeper perspective and analysis of life.

She has seen this through various avenues of herself including fashion, décor and teaching history for multiple years, giving her students a new perspective to the world. While Libby ultimately decided on art as a career, she still incorporates fashion and décor into her life.

Around the time Libby started creating, she had no intention of displaying her art to the public. However, when guests in her home were just taking pieces off her wall, Libby realized her creations can make a difference in people’s lives. Currently, Libby’s art sits in the homes of prominent art collectors around the world, spanning from North America to Israel and all the way to Australia. Libby’s pieces can also be found at Carlton Fine Arts on Madison Avenue.

“When I started selling my artwork and my business of combining my perspective, my viewpoint of the world and my positive energy together with beauty, I said wow. This is what my soul was meant to do,” Libby said.

Libby is constantly finding ways to the middle path to balance out the world of wearing so many hats while being abstract in her pieces. Every stroke of texture in Libby’s paintings represents the abstract feel and balance she carries. “Every single piece of art has an element of sketch and outline,” Libby said. “And then I go free with it, like the universe is opening up and I’m creating the bucket for it to go into.”

This free feeling comes out with each client she collaborates with. For a unique experience, Libby will come to your house and feel the energy in the room, then turn what she feels into artwork. For the good and the bad, Libby will pick up the energy in the home and ask the family questions to try and understand the room’s distinct aesthetic. From there, she uses their perspective to create a painting unique to them.

“I really could zoom in and pick up on colors, vibes and energies. I love giving that back to people because they’re always shocked at how I was able to capture them in a piece,” Libby said.

With each client, Libby finds their inner spark. Every art piece she gives acts as a blessing and in 200 years from now, that same art piece will still show true values and emotion. As of right now, giving someone a painting that embodies their values and traditions will speak to someone more than a materialistic gift would. Libby said, “My art has such an energy to it, has so much life in it.”

Legacy, community and family are a big part of who Libby is as a person and an artist. She believes these values brought from this allow her to believe the world is our oyster and we need to take what we want. Her belief in tradition, values and her family legacy is portrayed through her art. Although juggling each is a balancing act, Libby is grateful for the struggle and feels joy when it all ties together.

This sense of community and family is mirrored in each family tree painting Libby creates. Libby says her children inspired the idea behind starting family trees for clients. Each tree represents the concept of family and continuing yourself. “Having kids gave me a whole new perspective of life,” Libby explained. “I questioned more what my legacy was, what I want to hold onto, and what I want to leave and give to this world.”

Libby’s art stands out because of her studio: it is a haven for safe spaces, positivity and a judgment-free community. Here, connecting with people is a common practice. Once a month, a group of 80 women gather for open discussions. This is an important time, filled with embracing their Jewish identities through traditional songs.

“I believe the world is so beautiful because there’s so many different types of people and let’s allow all those different types of people because that’s what makes the world so beautiful,” Libby said. “I paint from a place of happiness, to bring joy and beauty into this world.”

As an Orthodox Jewish woman, many of her pieces have referenced Israel such as “Israel, An Old City” and “The Western Wall,” that has existed for thousands of years.

Libby’s painting of The Western Wall makes her, and every client she paints one for, feel like she has a piece of the wall in their house. “I’ve created a lot of pieces referring to the war,” Libby said. “Since the war, it [art] brought out a lot of Jewish love.” Libby feels now more than ever, community and spiritual power is extremely important.

Many of Libby’s pieces show what is going on in Israel. Libby is grateful to be a part of the community and nation, feeling interconnected with it all. Her Jewish identity and the Reichman family she comes from represents her traditions and the community. “My inspiration is most definitely my great-grandmother, Rene Reichmann.” Rene was the matriarch of the famous Olympia & York Reichmann brothers from Toronto Canada. “Being a part of the Reichmann dynasty makes me realize and appreciate our obligation to mankind,” she said in reference to Renee Reichmann’s heroic acts during the Holocaust. “There’s been a war in Israel since the beginning of history, I incorporate trees into my paintings because, unlike humans, nature is the only thing in the world that has witnessed history and is still around to tell the story,” Libby said.

Aside from canvases, Libby also paints on objects such as a tambourine. Libby explained how she goes through being Jewish and being a mom to kids during a war. Although she knows there is a lot of pain going on right now, she doesn’t want to ignore it. She teaches her kids how God wants them to live life to its fullest despite the world not being perfect. “I started painting the tambourines to tell the kids there are better days to come and we are saving these for when the sun shines,” Libby said.

The light and the calling Libby feels is what she tells young artists to find what they start their careers. Insecurities could destroy your work. Successful people are not perfect, and perfection is not real. Libby has been invited to speak across the country to motivate mothers on fulfilling their dreams while balancing the needs of a busy household.

Libby channels her traditions, Jewish faith and sense of community into each piece she creates. The art she creates has been influenced with things throughout her life but at the end of the day, joy and love are what each piece embodies.