Leonard Rosenfeld
Jumpers, 2002, oil on paper, 28.5 x 41.5 in, 72.39 x 105.41 cm
Leonard RosenfeldLeonard RosenfeldLeonard RosenfeldLeonard Rosenfeld

9/11  Circa 1999, Rosenfeld and his wife were sitting on their little terrace, facing south, to what was then an office building. They had moved to a loft one block east of the South Tower of the World Trade Center in January 1993, a month before they tried it the first time. He said, “If those buildings ever came down we’d be finished.” She asked, “But how could they do it?” He said, “They would have to hijack planes and fly them into the buildings.” Incredulous, she recalled how in the 70s terrorists put suitcases with bombs on planes, but did not board. He said, “They did the Cole. They did our embassies in Africa. Why not here?” And so he painted a small picture in 1999, of him running from the burning, falling towers, with a little backpack on his back. Then it happened. The couple moved to a loft space in the East Village where they remained, and he worked, until moving back home at the end of December 2001. Rosenfeld, traumatized by the event that he experienced one block away, said he “would not go near that subject with a ten foot pole.” Yet, true to his essence as a storyteller, he did produce an evocative 9/11 series, depicting his personal experience, and that of those who perished or survived. One of these works, Jumpers, is in the collection of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum at ground zero. Another piece, Kazetnik, called to mind the testimony of one of the witnesses at the Adolf Eichmann trial—a witness so distraught that he fainted in the middle of his testimony.

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