April 14, 2024
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April 14, 2024
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Lev Zahav Art Makes Beautiful Custom Art Affordable

Ari Solomon is a creative and entrepreneurial artist with a niche in the world of art … and footwear. Many are familiar with Solomon’s unique footgear products designed exclusively for well-known athletes, distinctive and highly personalized. His talents are gaining recognition and he is emerging as a highly sought-after purveyor of exquisite and original Jewish graphic art pieces that he designs.

The Jewish Link asked about Solomon’s new Lev Zahav website and how he selects which artwork to display online. “Our website carries many different types of unique artwork in addition to custom personalized art,” he said. “We carry pesukim art, gedolim art, Israel art, custom magazine covers, personalized sports edits, custom simcha sneakers, and landscape art.”

Everything on the website is designed by Solomon. He explained that he can also customize an art creation for whatever inspires or appeals to someone. On the website the overarching theme is emunah—faith. “I feel that beautiful (artistic) reminders on our walls about who we are, what we believe, and where we come from are essential to bringing holiness into our homes and inspiring our family, children, and friends,” Solomon said. “Art truly speaks to people.” He creates whatever he believes will inspire people in their own service of God.

Asked to share the creative process, Solomon shared that most art pieces start with a pasuk or vision that has inspired him throughout his life. He observed from davening and Tehillim that there are so many small verses, often overlooked, that are so meaningful they can literally change one’s life. However, he continued, “It is tough to hold on to these moments of inspiration, and sometimes before creating a piece, I close my eyes and imagine that a verse inspires me, (and then) imagine places and imagery that go along with the verse. The elements start to come together and then I start creating while I have that inspiration.

“God just helps me do the rest and places my fingers on the right keys to create something inspiring and beautiful. My creative process, including custom cleats and sneakers, is to just start creating and see what God helps me to create. I take a more visual creative approach as opposed to a pre-planned and pre-sketched approach. I see visions as they come to mind, rather than write it out on a piece of paper and save it for later.”

Inspiration for Solomon’s art and website come in large part from his grandfather Julian Smith, whom he describes as “such a special person and Jew. He didn’t grow up with a yeshiva background. He was so pulled towards God and faith by virtue of … something inside of him. He lived a life of pure and simple emunah and always had a smile of joy from anything and everything this world had to offer him.

“He was a huge sports fan growing up, and loved baseball in particular. After he passed away, I started to have much success in the sports industry. I know that he has and always will be advocating for me and my success (from) shamayim.

“My grandfather taught me that everything is from God, and the only way to succeed in this world is to have complete emunah and realize that our main focus in this world is to serve God and believe in him and all that he does; in return he will take care of us.”

Solomon said he expanded the cleat business to Jewish art, because one of the hardest struggles when one is blessed with success is to remain cognizant that everything is a gift from Hashem. His goal is to constantly remind himself of reliance on Hashem and to spread the lesson of his grandfather.

He also noted that by having a customer platform in the sports world, he strives to make a kiddush Hashem and combine Judaism with his work. To wit, he described conversing with the biggest stars in professional sports with tzitzit out, and last week standing at Citi Field next to the New York Mets during the National Anthem, with his hat over his heart—but his kippah in clear view on his head.

Discussing briefly the significance of the name of the business, Lev Zahav, Solomon told The Jewish Link that it is titled after his and his wife’s names. Aryeh Lev and Gabriella Zahava were married in March. They combined their second names to form Lev Zahav, “heart of gold,” Solomon relating that the idea came from his rebbe, Rav Yehuda Willig’s remarks at their sheva brachot. Solomon, a former HASC counselor, also told us that proceeds from every sale during the next year will be donated to HASC, as a zechut to the memory of his grandfather, Yehuda ben Yisroel, a’h.

Gabbi attends Stern College pursuing a degree in marketing, so they combined her marketing skills with his design and sales skills to expand the business, which they soft-launched over the summer.


Solomon’s designs have been featured in The Wall Street Journal, ESPN, Bleacher Report, Times of Israel, i24 News, Fox Sports, and YES Network and many other publications. An online coupon is available, and the product line can be viewed by visiting the Lev Zahav website: https://levzahavart.com.

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