[singlepic id=141 w=320 h=240 float=right]Everyone is talking about Bar Refaeli these last couple of days. The 23 years old Israeli model can be seen on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue of 2009, and everyone is making a big deal out of it. So much so, that today on Israel Channel 2, newscaster Oded Ben Ami interrupted an interview with newly elected female Knesset members, in order to show Bar Refaeli’s interview on yesterday’s Late Show with David Letterman – equating a model to members of parliament – because, well… they are all successful women. MK Tzipi Hotobeli was not amused and neither was I.
The new SI cover has Bar Refaeli in her signature pose: fingers towards crotch, about to take her bottom half off. You see, Bar likes to touch her crotch. A lot. Now don’t get me wrong, I like to touch my crotch as much as anyone else, it’s just that I don’t do it in pictures because I am not a moron. Like any intelligent person I know exactly what pointing at your groin signifies. But not Bar – oh no – Israel’s darling does not mind teaching millions of young girls how a woman needs to look and behave, and does not mind teaching millions of young boys what they need to crave and demand.
Now, as always, there are those who will accuse me of being a prude, claiming that sex sells and at the end of the day we are talking about a photo on a magazine cover. My answer to that claim comes in the form of a commemorative mosaic, a crotch retrospective if you will, of Bar Refaeli over the years – I call this work Get In My Pants – A Hallmark of Poor Taste:
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|How does a person change from this – into this?!
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Watching the Eurovision Song Contest last night, I could not help notice that while each country had a different representative delivering its votes, somehow the female representatives showed similar characteristics. I am a firm believer in the law of large numbers and thus think a large sample size can sometimes reveal significant issues. As an artist I use mosaics from time to time to express various opinions, and so after composing this new work I think we can agree Europe still thinks women are nothing more than eye candy:
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|For higher resolution, press F11 and then click the image
Following is a legend with the name of each country corresponding to each photo’s location:
||Bosnia & Herzegovina
* Out of a total of 43 representatives, 14 males were excluded.
† Insignificant minor retouching was done on some of the photos.
‡ The Turkish representative’s shirt was heavily retouched to remove some superimposed graphics
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The image above (click it for a larger size) is an advanced draft of a new artwork of mine. I will be presenting it in a collective work of Israeli portraits by Ehrlich Contemporary Art Gallery in the Florentin Biennale in Tel-Aviv, this coming May.
Format: Digital print
Dimensions: 210mm x 297mm
Name: Undetermined as of now. Possible names in descending order of probability include
- I Was a (Already?) Cliché at Age 14
Technique: The work is made out entirely out of digital-age found objects, that is, readymade images that were found on the Internet and were not photographed by me. The 12 images are all self portraits of 14 year old Israeli girls, each one published at Bona.co.il (now defunct), an Israeli social networking website for high school students. The text below each image is the stats that appear in each of the online profiles correspondingly (stats were accurate when gathered, but may have changed since).
Theme: While the complete artwork stands by itself, it is the first of a series of planned works, all of which present my commentary on the role and image of contemporary women as reflected by the online presence of the next emerging crop.
Feel free to check out the online profiles, by clicking the link that corresponds with each photo’s location.
As always, I welcome your comments and observations. Oh, I forgot to mention I am toying with the idea of sending a personal invitation to the exhibit to each of the girls.