Artist Daniel Wolfe’s BITS series helps entrepreneurs think outside the box
It looks like any other Brooklyn co-working venture. On any given weekday, you will find 5-8 people sitting in front of their computers, focused intently on their work. The Crown Heights Young Entrepreneurs Business Workspace at 510 Empire Blvd functions as an office for a varied assortment of Chasidic men who are focused on building their businesses. Complete with WiFi, printer, scanner and coffee the Workspace provides clients with a low-cost alternative to maintaining a private office.
As part of an initiative to make the Workspace conducive to creativity and collaboration, CHYE partnered with local artist Daniel Wolfe to display an installation of interactive collages called “Bits.”
“Bits” is the brainchild of Wolfe, 40, an abstract painter, tech executive, and mentor at CHYE. A Manhattan native, Wolfe focuses on light, shade, texture and color in abstract images that resemble the brick buildings of his city youth and, later, the smooth stones of Jerusalem. Trained in studio art and art history in New York and Israel, Wolfe put his art on hold for nearly 20 years as he became frum and started a family. He only began painting again in 2004.
But life with four kids and a full-time job was busy, and it was difficult to carve out time for his art. Wolfe searched for ways to create that took less time and space than his initial room-sized paintings. Feeling blocked, he cut up some of his large compositions and mounted them onto magnets, foam core, and wood. He then attached the pieces to various frames, creating new works that were puzzle-like, and moveable. He discovered that re-arranging the pieces helped him unwind, and eventually produce new paintings. It was interactive art; or, as Wolfe calls it, “a moment of creative transformation”.
Studies show puzzles stimulate brain activity, and can lead to increased productivity. Plus, the art brightens up the Brooklyn storefront. The walls of the CHYE workspace are now graced with “Bits” depicting glowing cityscapes. Wolfe says he hopes they “bring light into the urban jungle,” and enable people to “tap into their creativity,” the way they did for him.
The Business Workspace clients think the art looks nice, even if they rarely interact with it. One entrepreneur, Nachshon Rorick of nachshondesign.com comments that “It's inspiring to be surrounded by beautiful artwork while plugging away at your own business at CHYE. Instead of staring at drab walls while brainstorming your next step, you can draw energy from the paintings around you. The inclusion of art in the workspace is a great example how CHYE not only supports young entrepreneurship but also serves as a patron of the Arts.”
CHYE Director Rabbi Yehoshua Werde says, ““from the first moment I saw Daniel's art I knew it belonged on our walls, Bits sets the tone of our workspace as a place of creativity collaboration and synergy.”
The CHYE Workspace is just one of the many programs and services Crown Heights Young Entrepreneur has to offer to the aspiring young business men and women of our community. To find out more, please visit CHYE.Info.