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January 03, 2013 - Image 15

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2013-01-03

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in Metro Detroit

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A life-sized casting of his wife yielded this piece.

canvas and working
heroes of humanity.
his way down to the
They built the world
bottom. It is almost
— not the leaders, but
as if the painting
these common men
itself is guiding him,
and women who built
whispering the col-
the buildings, dug for
ors in his ears. The
gold, chopped wood.
intensity of every face
They made this world,
is riveting.
yet no one knows they
The small garage
even existed, he says.
For him, the engineer
has become his gal-
lery and studio.
is an artist, the book-
Bleifeld stands amid
keeper is an artist
the faces emerging
— they all created
Renee Bleifeld says she
out of paint, biblical
something that was
married her best friend.
characters literally
not there before.
breaking the surface
Bleifeld says,
of canvases and the fragile, colorful
"Moses is in the desert and he sees
abstract brushstrokes that reveal his
a burning bush, so he goes up to the
many selves to the world. Looking at
bush and God talks to him and gives
his own work, he glances at his wife,
him instructions, and Moses says to
Renee, and sends her a wink.
the bush, 'How should I call you?'
After 54 years of marriage, work-
and God said, 'My name is I Am That
I Am.
ing as a bookkeeper and raising their
two adopted children, Renee finally
All I want the world to know is
decided to let her own closeted artist
that I exist, I am:' Bleifeld says.
out and paints with her husband. Her
"It is sad that these days the world
bright pastel colors contrast with his
keeps losing artists because they are
not able to earn a living from their
bold hues.
"I married my best friend," she
says, while Bleifeld holds her in his
Believing what he creates has the
arms like a teenager. Next to them is
power to touch others, Bleifeld does
a life-sized cast sculpture with her as
not name his art and seldom signs it.
the model. Admitting there is a price
He believes his artwork is not his, but
to being married to an artist, she says exists to reach out to others, to find
it is worth it.
those who will grant his pieces anoth-
Bleifeld talks of humanity with a
er story, and who will love them.
certain sadness, believing he is one
To see some of Lee Bleifeld's work, go to
of the unknown millions. But those
millions, in his opinion, are the real

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CMU is an AA/E0 institution (see cmich.edu/aaeo) . cmich.edu/globalcampus 34490 8/12


January 3 • 2013



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