Tu Que Bivas
Tu Que Bivas is part of a Sephardic blessing my parents often invoked: “May you live, grow, and thrive like a little fish in freshwater.” I am a Sephardic Jew, part of the diasporic population expelled from Spain during the Inquisition in the late 15th century. My family’s migrations have taken us from Turkey to Colombia to the United States. Throughout, we have maintained our Ladino language, Jewish religion, and Sephardic customs.
My photographs explore how my mother and daughter continue to enact these traditions and rituals today. As I contemplate their different ways of preserving and celebrating our history, I consider my own relationship to this heritage and what interpretations my daughter will carry forward.
Becky Behar is a photo-based artist born in Colombia and now living in the suburbs of Boston. Her richly choreographed portraits and still lifes investigate motherhood, the passage of time, and what we carry through generations. Behar began photographing her three children as they matured into adults. Her compositions reflect embellished autobiographical and fictional narratives about their transition to adulthood and Behar’s shifting maternal identity as her children left home. With incandescent subject matter emerging from rich shadows, her photographs evoke Dutch oil paintings, replete with symbols of transience, family, and faith. Behar punctuates portraits with still lifes that mark the present-day, rendering plastic bags luminous amongst cherries and figs. Here, home is an idea, not a place.
Behar has exhibited at national and international galleries including solo exhibitions with Kniznick Gallery (Waltham, MA), The Griffin Museum of Photography (Winchester, MA), Workspace Gallery (Lincoln, NE) and at Concord Free Public Library (Concord, MA) where she was an Artist in Residence. This experience allowed her to tailor the exhibit to the venue and teach photography workshops for young adults. Her group exhibitions include the Rhode Island Center for Photographic Arts (Providence, RI), Photographic Resource Center (Cambridge, MA), Woodmere Museum (Philadelphia, PA), and FotoNostrum Gallery (Barcelona, Spain). Behar’s work has been featured in A Photo Editor, Float Photo Magazine, Fraction Magazine, The Boston Globe, Jewish Boston and What Will You Remember?.
Behar has received multiple acknowledgements for her work including being a Photolucida Critical Mass top 200 finalist (2020), a finalist for the Griffin Museum of Photography John Chervinsky Emerging Photographer Scholarship (2020), and was an awardee with the 16th Annual Julia Margaret Cameron Award for Women Photographers (2021). Behar’s most recent honors include a Concord Cultural Council Grant (2022), and a Combined Jewish Philanthropies Grant (2023). This Fall, she will become a Visiting Scholar at Brandeis University’s Women’s Studies Research Center where she will continue to research and develop her photography portfolios.