SHOAH DREAMS (detail, Felix Nussbaum)

This detail image portrays the German-Jewish painter Felix Nussbaum, who was raised in Osnabruck, a city in Germany. During the war, Felix and his wife Felka Platek were in hiding in Brussels, Belgium for three years. They were arrested in 1944 and deported on the last transport of Jews from Belgium to Poland. Felix and Felka were prisoners No. 284 and 285 on the train in which they were deported on July 31, 1944. They were gassed to death at Auschwitz on August 3, 1944. Felix was 39 years old and Felka was 45.

This portrait of Nussbaum was the first section of "Shoah Dreams" to be drawn (in the summer of 1997). After he was drawn Segan decided to create a multi-image drawing featuring people, buildings, and wings floating around multi-directionally. The portrait was drawn from Nussbaum's most famous painting: a self-portrait of the artist in which he holds his identity card. The identity card is marked Juif - Jood (Jew in French and Flemish). Nussbaum probably completed the painting in late 1942, according to a biography in the Felix Nussbaum Exhibition Catalog (The Jewish Museum, N.Y., 1983)

Nussbaum's wing was drawn from a beat-up and very tattered red-colored wing given to Segan by a former girlfriend on the morning of Yom Kippur 1996, a gift for the Under the Wings of God art series. Found in her yard, from a bird common to western Washington, the bird was probably a victim of some neighborhood cat.

Decades after his murder, many of Nussbaum's paintings and drawings were collected and eventually dedicated in a section of the Osnabruck Art Museum, Germany. The wing to the right of Nussbaum's head, which we can see the left portion of in the detail (above the child painted in beige) is from a Missourah ducky given to the artist by the Missouri Dept. of Conservation in Columbia, Mo. The child (foreground - left, with head covered and two wings) is drawn from a photo shot by Nazi soldier Willy Georg, from the book of his Warsaw Ghetto photos In the Warsaw Ghetto, Summer '41 (Aperture, NY 1993). Both wings on this child are from sacred kingfishers.

The boy painted with a beige underlay and black ink features (foreground right) is drawn from a photo in the chapter "Children in The Warsaw Ghetto - 45th Anniversary of the Uprising." The reddish-orange wing is from a bird from Argentina.

Nussbaum's most famous painting: Self-Portrait with Jewish Identity Card, probably from late 1942. The Nazi occupation ID card states "Jew": Juif and Jood in French and Flemish.
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The young boy in a Warsaw ghetto photo seen in the lower right corner of the detail (above). He wears a cap and is drawn in beige. Photo is from chapter titled
"Children in The Warsaw Ghetto - 45th Anniversary of the Uprising."

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