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August 14, 2015 4:30 pm

Artwork at New York City’s Garis & Hahn Gallery Asks: ‘Chuck Schumer, Israeli Spy?’

avatar by Eliezer Sherman

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Summer Windows Exhibition at Garis and Hahn.

Summer Windows Exhibition at Garis and Hahn.

A summer art exhibition at a Manhattan gallery has drawn the ire of several in the Jewish community for visualizations that seem to augment Jewish stereotypes of dual loyalty and financial power, and “musing about doing away with the Jewish state” of Israel.

The Garis & Hahn gallery on Bowery launched its Summer Windows exhibition on August 10 with displays by 10 different artists in a “continuous dialogue,” organized by guest curator Danika Druttman.

Among the images was one that simply read, in sparse Magnetic Poetry text, “Chuck Schumer, Israeli spy?” The timely piece appeared just a few days after Schumer announced his opposition to the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran.

Following Schumer’s announcement, some controversially suggested that the New York Democratic senator was more concerned with Israeli security than U.S. interests, claims that were subsequently decried by Jewish groups.

Another image showed the iconic Star of David, crafted out of one-dollar bills, with the text “not on my dime” in the center; blood oozes from the bottom of the Jewish symbol.

Summer Windows Exhibition at Garis and Hahn.

Summer Windows Exhibition at Garis and Hahn.

And yet another display depicts a younger woman standing on a wooden deck in a rural setting aiming a rifle at an unseen target; the text, “Israel is over if we want,” cascades in a disjointed vertical down the image, in front of the young woman.

Associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center Rabbi Abraham Cooper questioned the double standard with which the artists and guest curator approached the subject of the Jewish state and American Jews.

“In a region where millions have been displaced maimed and killed—from Syria to Iraq and beyond—they post a picture of someone pointing a rifle and musing about doing away with the Jewish State? Why? Why Israel?” asked Cooper. “Has the art gallery taken on any other country— say for example Iran —whose Mullahocracy hangs gays and supports suicide bombers and terrorist activities around the world? If the answer is no, perhaps they should take a selfie and reflect on their values and the messages they choose to validate through art.”

Cooper also deplored the “slander of dual loyalties” leveled against Schumer.

Summer Windows Exhibition at Garis and Hahn.

Summer Windows Exhibition at Garis and Hahn.

“These so-called  ‘art’ hit-pieces reflect the growing toxicity that is beginning to permeate in many aspects of the mainstream of our society and culture … We reiterate the Wiesenthal Center’s call upon our elected leaders and media pundits to denounce the dangerous gutter politics that inspire artists to point their (still) imaginary rifles at the heads of 8 million very real citizens of the Jewish state and to cast a seasoned Senator as a possible spy because a) he opposes the Iran Deal and b) he is a Jew,” he said.

Curator Danika Druttman meanwhile responded that the works were “produced in real time” with “no curatorial perspective.”

“In regards to the piece in question, the artist was coming from a position of anti military spending. This piece is part of a larger body of work in which a discussion is being had between many artists through imagery and text. The views of the artist in this art work are not reflective of my opinions as the curator, or of the gallery,” she said.

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  • American Artist

    Randy Douglas Miller, Iranian spy, is over if we want it.

    How’s that for being over the target?

  • RW

    So, which of these “artists” is/are responsible for the (extremely unoriginal) antisemitic images?

    Also, will Danika Druttman or the gallery owners condemn the images and ideas conveyed? Will they continue to give space to artists who produce such works?

    On their website, under “Projects” “Summer Windows”:

    August 10-16
    Seth Indigo Carnes
    Curator: Danika Druttman
    Featuring artists and poets including:
    Jonathan Grassi, Tim Fite, Ava Hu, Julien Levy, Chris Martin, Florence Montmare, Serkan Ozkaya, Zefrey Throwell, and Marshall Weber

  • Alexi

    I wonder when they’ll display a piece of “artwork” that depicts a younger woman standing on a wooden deck in a rural setting aiming a rifle at an unseen target; with the text…

    “Garis & Hahn & curator Danika Druttman are over if we want.,”

    cascading in a disjointed vertical down the image, in front of the young woman.

    OR…. Maybe that’s just NOT art.

  • Yotta

    The curator is a foreigner living in New York City. Danika Druttman should be investigated and promptly deported. You don’t get to come here and spread hate. Send Danika Druttman back to London.

  • Simone Miller

    call it what you will antisemitism by any name is hatred of the Jewish people.

  • Paul

    The US entered WWII only after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. Until then they wanted no part of the war out there in Europe.
    The US went to war on Ismlamic terrorists only after the twin towers. Until then they wanted no part of the war out there in the Middle East.
    The US prefers to remain uninvolved, adopting a righteous stance – so long as THEY are not targetted.
    So we may expect the US to only, finally face the REAL issues on the mideast when Jihadists hit the US at home.
    The Iranian deal is still being mis-presented as mainly an Israeli problem: with the ICBM missiles development being ALLOWED by the US under the agreement, and the permission to make a bomb 10 years down the line (or sooner, if in secret as they have always done), US citizens should stop trying to be so self-righteous and start watching their OWN interests.
    Israel is what the Iranians call the little Satan. And the US is the BIG Satan – higher on their hate-list of priorities.

  • The curator is a outright bigoted liar.

    • Ali

      That is much nicer than what I said about him and the bigot “artists” pushing their hate and lies.

  • Dr. Stephen Steinlight

    The Garis & Hahn Gallery on the Bowery has earned the contempt of decent people and ought to be boycotted for as long as it exists for its wicked decision to host the monstrously vile anti-Semitic installation by Danika Druttman. Its components possess no visual merit nor do they raise engaging intellectual or spiritual questions. Its nauseating imager merely regurgitates the most barbaric classic anti-Semitic themes — supposed Jewish love of money and Jewish proclivity to disloyalty. Ms. Druttman’s imagery would be at home in Julius Streicher’s “Der Sturmer.” To remain hip and faithful to the prevailing Zeitgeist, Garis & Hahn are trafficking in Jew-hatred. They should and must be held accountable for their venture in evil.

  • James McEnanly

    I imagine that Chuck Shumer probably lives in or around NYC, and does not wish to see his home become a nuclear blast site.

  • Jonah

    Their are consequences for electing a Muslim, and it is going to come back and bite the liberal Jews in the behind. If Dershowitz and Shummer think their liberal veil will help them dodge that bullet they are delusional. The Koran states very clearly if you see a Jew behind a rock kill him, if you see a Jew hiding behind a tree kill him. And if they think they can slow the process down with Hillary, they are delusional, her best pal is Hummus the jihadist. One of these days, in the near future, farakahns troops along with Islam and the protection of our administration are going to take to the streets and Jewish blood is going to flow in the streets, if it is not happening already.

    • President Obama is not a Muslim! And American Muslims are not bomb throwing anti Americans!

      • len

        Good for you Judith-Now how about a comment on the article and the anti -semitic overtone of this Art or is it that it just doesn’t bother or touch you in any way, that you have been programmed to jerk react to only one thing in life which is Islamaphobia, and Muslims are the new Jews and the old Jews can just screw off and deal with it!Methinks thou protests too much!

  • Esther Kaplan

    Whew. In planning a whirlwind trip to New York, here is one gallery II won’t have to make time to visit.

  • Judith Levine

    While I defend the gallery’s right to exhibit whatever they wish, I am very saddened that they would choose to give voice to such patently open anti-Semitism. If they show this artist, why not a counter-balancing show? I am a professional artist and show my work in Washington DC, but have works hanging five countries, including England, Mexico and Canada. I do address questions that are political in nature on occasion, but never with such open threats of acceptable violence.

  • Robert Davis

    Lefter jews’ gutter politics such as jstreets’ confirms how far cowardice can be obnoxious to those stupid jews’ future and how they create antisemitism themselves not those who are loyal to America and Israel. Traitors such as jstreet jews will be traitors to America tomorrow just as they are traitors to Israel today. Bad quality does not change from one project to another and jstreet and their ilk are bad quality. In fact the worst.

  • Sarah Olsen

    Shall we consider the supporters of Iran Deal to be Iranian spies?
    Thank you Senator Schumer for standing against Iran deal!!!!!! You are a USA Patriot.

  • Max Cohen

    Both of the directors of this gallery, Mary Garis and Sophia Hahn left town just before their “art show” began, and they will not return until it is ended a week into September. All of their exhibits are intended to exploit the market created by the opera, “The Death of Klinghoffer,” which demonstrated how to make a buck by justifying death or defamation for vulnerable Jews. The crassness of these “two art” lovers deserves nothing short of the bankruptcy of their business.

  • Frederick Blum

    The piece is not art. The perpetrators; i.e. art gallery and the ” artist ” , are only using that context as a vehicle for the appearance of legitimacy. It is actually blatant anti-Semitic propaganda and should not be taken seriously by anybody connected with the art world; however, perhaps it should be taken seriously by law enforcement as a hate crime because it targets Jewish people with malicious intent. I would consider filing a complaint with the FBI and New York law enforcement.

  • I wish with all my heart that it would be much more such “spies” as Chuck –all Congress! At it will be one day, I am sure.

  • Steve Loeb

    Danika Druttman – terrorist sympathizer and MuslimBrotherhood spy or just Leftist silly Leftist useful idiot pretending to be profound?

  • enufizenuf

    This is a note to remind all of the more extreme among the New York Jewish community that they have absolutely no right to walk into this gallery and destroy those pieces. To do so would be going against everything that morally superior and sophisticated New Yorkers of the Jewish persuasion believe in.

    • LEN

      Hey -Enuf ,I agree with you and thank you for reminding me because I was getting that funny inclination just when I read your comment. You have saved my future, destroying those pieces would have landed me in jail with probably a felony and then I would have to say goodbye to my career as a Lawyer or Doctor. Now I can join the ranks of the morally superior and sophisticated of my persuasion. After all when this group is finished demonizing Israel they will probably go after some other group who will proceed to kick the shit out of them, and then I can apply the bandages or represent them in court laughing all the way to the bank!!!!!

  • sifter

    Remember if this gallery was slandering Islam, it would already be burned to the ground. But Jews are fair game. The shocker is the new kapo anti semitism that gleefully fans the flames of the ovens.

  • Paul Grad

    Obama has unleashed the jackals.

  • len

    Where are these so called artists coming from and is it fair to call them artists or are they just visual propagandists in the war which is presently being waged by the Bolshevik-Muslim alliance against The Jewish State in every corner of society . Soon if it isn’t some criticism of Israel it wont be recognized as true Art!Didn’t that RULE occur in Stalinist Russia regarding Capitalism and the West?I believe there is a film festival going on somewhere in Europe that will only accept films from Israel that criticizes “the Occupation” ! True artists beware and fasten your seat belts we are heading into an era where politics will dictate your imagination and you will be expected to bow your head!

  • shlomo

    Jewish Lives Matter … Maybe its time to follow the lead of other protest groups and stop issuing clever remarks and turn to street justice. Why should we tolerate this kind of anti semitism .. because some jerk calls it art. Ask yourself why there is no picture of mohammed for art.


    YOU THE SAYING,”IF YOU’RE CATCHING FLACK YOU KNOW YOU’RE OVER THE TARGET”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • American Artist

      Randy Douglas Miller, Iranian spy — over if we want it.

      How’s that for being over the target. Provide address if possible.

      • American Artist

        Not sure if you mean the gallery is over the target or Schumer is over the target. Not sure if you are a bigot or just unclear.

  • rbockman

    Buck up guys, we’ve been here before, we’ve got lots more experience than this new crop of Jew haters.