Project White / Artist Statement
My personal past and the way I have been brought up influenced me greatly in all projects I work on, yet I feel that in this one even more than ever. I come from a divided family – my mother raised me as a single mother alone, in a free, open, non-religious atmosphere. Ever since I can remember, my mother has worked in the theater industry, primarily as an actor. She is now a medical clown. Most of my childhood was spent behind the stage of “Haifa Theater” in Israel. I still have vivid memories of my mother and other actors in the make up room. I was fascinated by the makeup being slowly brushed on the actors’ faces and watching the actors trying on of different wigs. I witnessed the transition of a person becoming something else.
My Father on the other hand, who did not raise me and was not a stable part of my life, became religious at one point of his life and in a way “preached” me about things that are forbidden or seen as wrong in his society, through his religious point of view. My father would read scripts from the bible and different holy books to try to make me see life in his point of view. A religious point of view that is, and what goes along with that – a sexual repressed point of view. Almost every aspect in my life - the non religious life style I am living is seen in a negative way on his behalf.
In this project I am trying to show that nudity is beautiful, sexuality is not a bad thing. Through combining ideas that inspired me from both my parents and the contradictions between the two very different worldviews I feel I am creating my own translation and point of view. My point of view is that of the beauty in the human body, any human body – no matter to difference in size, race, gender and so on.
My inspiration also comes from ancient Greek sculptures and the idealization of nude bodies by the Greek society. These sculptures were worshiped and were seen as beauty objects, not as taboos in any way. Usually the sculptures represented heroes and gods that were idealized in the body construction, to show the perfect complete body.
In my project I am breaking down those ideas from Greek sculptures of body idealization, and am focusing on the beauty of the nude, ideas of sexuality that are presented, the depiction of beauty and different moods in sexuality that any living human in their very many different forms and shapes carry within them.
By using different white flowing fabrics as backdrops I am making a reference to 19th century paintings and photographs, which are well known as a common way that artists studied the nude figure. I combined different old-fashioned fabric accessories to give the characters a slightly aristocratic look, as if they are in some sort of power position, empowering them in their nudity. The white body paint is applied to disguise the characters in a way, to make the character blend almost with the background, yet at the same time to differ them from a human look and to give them a “pure” and clean look that contradicts the way in which the subjects are presented – being nude and sexual is considered a big taboo in many cultures.
I drew much inspiration into my work from Edward Weston, Joel Peter Witkin, Robert Mapplethorpe, Belloque, and Robert Lebeck.