Osama bin Laden, Tony Blair, Vladimir Putin and Madonna are among the many celebrities who are portrayed in a unique and specially-designed Purim Megillah that is up for auction this week.
Figures from the Megillah are represented as caricatures of famous politicians and celebrities, including Madonna as Queen Esther – complete with blonde hair and green eyeshadow – Osama bin Laden as Haman, Saddam Hussein and Yasser Arafat as his cronies and George Bush as King Achashverosh.
Vladimir Putin, Tony Blair, Jacques Chirac and Kofi Anan are also depicted in the Megillah which was commissioned privately in 2007 by an anonymous collector, says its Israeli designer Itzhak Luvaton.
“My first reaction was: ‘This is very unusual.’ I was intrigued,” said Luvaton. “I’ve been in the business for 40 years and I’ve never had a Megillah request like that.”
He created the master sketch, then sent it out to tens of artists and painters in a process that took about a year. Master scribe Avital Goldner wrote the text after all the pictures were complete. Jerusalem’s Kedem Auction House will accept bids starting from $5000 on 7 February.
While Kedem and Luvaton did not disclose the name of the collector, he did give one guess as to their motivation. “He was thinking Madonna would buy it.”
Pictures courtesy of Kedem Auction House.