Direct Experience, the creative productions of Zalman Berkowitz

Painting Icons and Symbols

Symbols have long been utilized as containers for powerful energies, thoughts, ideas, and human expressions. Maybe that’s why we like original fine art paintings so much: there are just some things that are impossible to express in written language.

Words and letters themselves are of course symbols. Part of my fascination in this process is that all symbols, including words, seem to act as vessels: containers for meaning. Even those meanings seem to change over time as we enliven and destroy symbols and icons through our use of them.

If you know me, you understand my love affair with words and visual languages (I like to pun-tificate, sometimes it’s punny). Here are a few original paintings where the symbols/icons have become thematic, or central to the composition.

Of course, I have my own stories that go with these. I’m happy to explore the meanings I find in them (and share on request ;-).

I enjoy discussions where I get to discover the fresh associations you might make with these artworks. I hope they serve as a jumping-off-place for insights, explorations and discovery (or at least help bring the room together!). Enjoy!

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“Organizing Principal”

“Buddha Tu”

“EyeZ (a master’s peace)”

“O Sensei”

“Emotional Content (Bruce)”


“Having /Wanting (the power of love, the love of power)”


“the moody woman”


“Mary G”


“confluence (trust)”

“EyeZ (a master’s peace)”