Description About this poster and videoA wise old man on his death bed, spoke to me of the holocaust. I saw the numbers on his arm. He was a survivor from Auschwitz. He was once my Rabbi who had taught me about my heritage years before. He was now my patient in the hospital, where I worked between college semesters. From that wonderful conversation, this is what I remember him saying. I have had many years to ponder this. He spoke to me softly one night and posed this question to me. How did I survive the despair and the degradation in Auschwitz? He went on to explain that he had to find meaning. He had to have something greater than himself to live for, something greater than his captors, and greater than his despair. Starvation and death were all around me. He recalled. Life seemed cheap, yet there were some who still valued life more than anything - even there in the Nazi death camp. Why? I questioned curiously. I was a young man then, I watched and observed. There were some who lived in the spirit of love despite all the hate and the fear, despite the agony and wretchedness surrounding us. I watched some give away a few precious morsels of potato and stale bread to others who were to weak to even lift their heads. Why give your food away to the dieing? I thought to myself daring not to speak aloud. Eventually I understood the great victory that I had witnessed. Giving life and comfort to the dieing was an act of courage, love, and compassion. No person or experience could break the spirit born from such an act. And, for the remaining months in Auschwitz, I gratefully shared my paltry supply of rations. I had found something to live for and to die for. The victory was over my fear and hatred. The victory was over Auschwitz. The victory gave me something precious to live for. Others needed us. His victory came from sacrifice. That is how he survived. The secret was: Im chayeinu, anu notnim chayim. (With our lives, we give life.)http://
I.M. Spadecaller, Tampa Bay Member Since March 2010 Artist Statement Matthew Schwartz (AKA Spadecaller) is a grateful survivor who conveys his deepest passions, convictions, and serenity through visual art, poetry, and video.
As a child, he was formally trained in traditional oil techniques and later attended The School of Visual Arts in New York City (1970-71). During the 70's up until the late 80's he exhibited acrylic and oils in Montreal and New York, and presently resides on the west coast of Florida.
Since the advent of image editing software, he has turned more to creative digital hand painted images and photos striving to fuse these into an art form worthy of the distinction traditional painters deserve.
Using HD videos formats, he showcase his digital paintings, poetry, other mixed media images; these are available for viewing at: http://www.youtube.com/user/Thespadecaller.