Hillel Smith

Jewish stencil prints

Here are a number of pieces using traditional Hebrew texts and subjects in what I hope is a novel and exciting way. These are all serial spray paint stencil prints painted on paper or cardboard, printed in editions of between 2 and 50. The organic spray is a wonderful foil for the hard lines and exact shapes I typically favor. Contact me for purchase information.

Morid HaGeshem

The Jewish prayer for wind and rain, recited in daily prayer from the fall until Passover in the spring.
It reads: מַשִּׁיב הָרוּחַ וּמוֹרִיד הַגָּשֶׁם (Mashiv ha-ruach u-morid ha-geshem) "May the wind blow and rain fall." 20" x 16" on cardboard.

Theodor Herzl

Theodor Herzl, with his famous quote "If you will it, it is no dream" (in Hebrew אִם תִּרְצוּ, אֵין זוֹ אַגָדַה, translated from the original German). The type is hand-designed in a set up that only works when the two layers line up.


A study of the letter alef. 11" x 17" on paper.

kol atzei ya'ar

Gold and blue spray paint over a letterpressed tree. The text is from Psalm 96:12 — אז ירננו כל עצי יער (Az yeranenu kol atzei ya'ar) "Then shall all the trees in the wood sing for joy." 6" x 8" on paper.

Ein Sof

The Ein Sof, meaning "without end," is a Kabbalistic notion of the essence of God, expressing its infiniteness and all-encompassing-ness. The Ein Sof is the emanator of the ten Sefirot, or energetic realms of being. Here, the ten sefirot are nested inside the Ein Sof, expanding ever outward. 20" x 16" on paper.

Simchat Torah

"Simchat Torah" mural study, 24" x 18" on blue paper.


"Kol Shofar" (voice of the shofar). 10" x 10" on birch board.

Like a broken shard

This passage, "K-heres ha-nishbar," comes from the U-netana Tokef prayer in High Holiday Servies. The prayer reflects on the fleeting nature of life its call for forgiveness. The subtly painted geometric text reads: כחרס הנשבר ,כחציר יבש ,וכציץ נובל ,כצל עובר ,וכענן כלה ,וכרוח נושבת ,וכאבק פורח ,וכחלום יעוף — "[Man is] like a broken shard, withering grass, a fading flower, a passing shadow, a dissipating cloud, a blowing wind, flying dust, a fleeting dream." 16" x 20" on birch.

Milk & Honey

Milk & Honey. 17" x 11" on paper.