Advanced Style Artist: Malcah Zeldis

The other day I spent a wonderful afternoon with artist, Malcah Zeldis and her daughter Yona. Who better to describe this fantastic woman than her daughter.

Yona writes,” A good friend said to me, “Your mother is not just a great person, she’s a great event!” And it’s true. Her super-sized style is apparent in her art, her clothing and her décor. Born in 1931 and raised in Detroit, she spent nine years of her life in Israel, and returned to the United States in 1958 to settle in New York City. After raising my brother and me, she finally found the courage to pursue the life of an artist, a long held dream of hers. Although she did not study formally, she achieved her own form of expression with her brightly colored, densely packed oil paintings and gouaches, as well as with her sculptures, many of which were created using found objects. Today she has a thriving career which includes many museum shows (the Smithsonian and The Museum of American Folk Art are two high points), important private collections and numerous publications. I was always enchanted by the way she dressed and I can still remember outfits she wore back in the 1960s, when I was a small child. Some highlights: a pair of floor length cherry velvet evening pants (cut so full as to resemble a skirt) worn with a glittery purple belted tunic and long strands of red crystal beads, a wool coat in a black and white checkerboard pattern with black fox trim, a white, hand embroidered caftan from Israel, a cotton summer dress in a denim blue, with contrasting red stitching (there was a matching bow for her long black hair), a sleeveless shift in sky blue and brown, with what looked like a red, black and white target dead center. I loved her look back then, and I still love it today.

  • sandra

    you're a lovely woman who is fascinating and you inspire me to continue doing my own thing….you're interesting! in a world of conformity…
    Thank you for your gift…look forward to more videos and pictures of you. I love your necklace…

  • Love love love.

    Every day.

    Every post.

    Every woman.

    Every man.

    Thank you.

  • I enjoy almost all posts on this fascinating site. Living in the somewhat conservative midwest, I thrive on the creativity and "spunk" of the personalities you feature. This one is no exception! Truly, a "Person" and an "Event"!

  • cool posts!

    lovely blog!well done!!!!!!!


  • lovely!

  • Mim

    My favorite of all your posts. I hope you will visit Malcah Zeldis again and show more of her paintings.

  • what an inspirational pair–both stunning and so stylish!

  • These women inspire me–they are stunning, so stylish.

  • I would love to have the opportunity to talk to these incredibly creative, beautiful women you feature on your blog! The photos and interviews are so inspiring, keep doing what you do, Ari, your blog is such a joy

  • This blog has enriched my life more than you will ever know. This artist and all the other great people you feature are just so cool and it makes me feel so much better about being over 50 and a creative.

    Thank you!

  • What a fantastic and inspiring blog! It just goes to show that age is no barrier to style, Malcah is an icon.

  • Ari, the people showcased in your blog fill my heart and become my inspiration every single day. Endless gratitude to you and your staff for bringing them to us.

  • Wow! Am I ever glad I found this blog. (Waving "Thanks" to Rebecca!!!!)

    The other day, I found the most perfectly striped over-the-knee socks ever. With resignation, I put them back believing (then) that at 53, I'd AGED since I first began hunting for said socks.

    After seeing Malcah rock those stripes, I'm back to the store tomorrow to get some of my very own.

  • amazing!

  • Anonymous

    Ari, just love your blog….it is my favorite!… the photos and the stories……..

  • Love the décor as well as this lady's sense of style. She wears the colorful necklace so well, doesn't she?

  • her necklace is amazing!