[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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Wars don’t happen in winter anymore
Even for us it is a bit too cold to hate
Wars don’t happen in winter anymore
Even for us it’s a bit too cold to conquer
– – “Big Hero” by Si Himan (translated from Hebrew)
I have already written on Israeli journalists playing dress-up, but that was during peacetime. Now that a new war might be imminent, it seems our journalists collectively decided to wear uniform in the form of leather jackets. I have been glued to the TV screen during the past few days, zapping between Channel One, Channel Two and Channel Ten – and it looks like one hideous leatherwear catalog from the 1990’s that magically came to life:
We already knew soldiers have their standard operating procedures – but now we know TV newsmen have them too.
Continue reading Tonight on Your Evening News: Cast Lead and Must Leather
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.
Readers of my blog may have been wondering about the outcome of the Bread and Roses art sale I participated in. A couple of days ago I was quite taken aback by a phone call. It was the organizers of the charity auction calling to ask for my address, as they wanted to send me a cheque. You see, this specific charity event appealed to me, as aside from actually helping people in need, which is always nice, the organizers promised that the money collected from each artwork sold would be divided and 75% of it would be donated, while 25% were promised to be paid back to the artist.
Now, while receiving money is always fun, this cheque represents the first ever artwork of mine that was sold in an exhibit, by a stranger who actually raised his finger towards the wall, pointed to my work and said ‘I want to have this!’
The sold artwork is called ‘Jaffa Gate, Summer 2006‘ and it is a photo mosaic of one of the gates in the wall that surrounds the old city of Jerusalem, created using photos of the 119 fallen Israeli soldiers during the 2nd Lebanon War. The actual print size of the work is 80×60cm, which is important as it looks different from a distance and up close. Use the + zoom option to have a similar experience:
This coming Saturday one of my art works will be offered for sale at a charity art sale. Me and about two hundred other leading artists are participating in a one day public event that will hopefully result in a considerable monetary contribution to the Workers Advice Center‘s ‘Women and Work’ project which aims to help Arab women break the cycle of poverty.
You are cordially invited to spend your Oneg Shabbat gazing at contemporary art (mostly paintings and photos), and possibly buying an artwork, thus helping a worthy cause. Check out the (partial) online catalogue here.
Minshar Art School
18 David Chachami street
Saturday, November 10th, 2007
From 10am to 10pm
…As we come marching, marching, unnumbered women dead
Go crying through our singing their ancient cry for bread.
Small art and love and beauty their drudging spirits knew.
Yes, it is bread we fight for — but we fight for roses, too!
Bread and Roses – James Oppenheim, 1911