New Exhibition by Award Winning Photographer Kobi Israel Gives London
Second Chance to See Critically-Acclaimed Images from the Artist's Best-Selling
the heels of his selection to exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery
and for OUT Magazine's "100 Most Intriguing Gay People of 2003",
Kobi opens show at the vibrant Blue Elephant Theatre
UK — Nov. 20, 2003 — An exclusive exhibition featuring the
provocative and intimate work of photographer Kobi Israel (www.kobi-israel.com)
opened today at the eclectic Blue Elephant Theatre in south London. The
exhibition, which captures the conflicted and intimate self-exploration
of Kobi's own life, coincides with the show !Runners by Brazilian writer
and director Cristina Teixeira that explores similar issues of self-identity
This latest exhibition follows a wave of recent accolades for the award
winning photographer whose best-selling book Kobi Israel Views has gained
worldwide acclaim. Earlier this month, his portrait "1700" was
selected for exhibition at the Schweppes Photographic Portrait Prize 2003
at the National Portrait Gallery in London. Meanwhile, for its December
year-in-review issue, Out magazine, the leading U.S.-based arts and entertainment
magazine for the gay community, has named Kobi one of "100 Most Intriguing
Gay People of 2003". Also, Australia's leading gay men's magazine
and top photography journal, Blue, also recently featured Kobi in a gallery
spread of his work.
"I'm excited to share these images with London one more time at the
Blue Elephant Theatre. The photographs are born from my personal experiences
as a gay adolescent in an Israeli suburb through to my being a soldier
in the Israeli army during national service," said Kobi. "They
are inspired by the many conflicts of growing up and exploring my sexuality
in a traditional Israeli society, where feelings towards other men are
often physical and warm but seldom cross the dangerous line between a
brotherly embrace and the touch of love and desire. This project is not
about army life but about deep emotions, beauty and vulnerability".
"We're elated to have the prestigious work of Kobi Israel at the
theatre," said Antonio Ribeiro, producer at the Blue Elephant Theatre.
"His work crosses boundaries and reaches out to so many people in
a really powerful way. These images are an excellent complement to our
current show !Runners."
The exhibition runs through 20 December and features the following work
divided into three themes:
Fragments of Life
In a series of images, Kobi takes us into his inner world of memories,
conflicts and trapped emotions where he recreates and reinvents fragments
of his own life as an adolescent growing up in a traditional society.
For some of the images he even returns to the original Tel Aviv locations
of his first encounters and revelations to recreate the moment .
In the eyes of a soldier
For Israeli soldiers the act of hugging, kissing and the saying in Hebrew
"Ani Ohev Otcha Achi"("I love you my brother"), are
normal ways of greeting. But how does a gay soldier feel in this situation,
where communal showering and sleeping are the accepted norm?
In a series of images from a daily Israeli army routine, Kobi portrays
raw humanity as well as the iconic beauty and sexual attraction, of young
soldiers all based on his own personal experiences.
Using a deliberate "snapshot" style, Kobi searches for the secret
intimate moments within day-to-day scenes and the "divine" that
is hidden in all of us.
For more information, visit http://www.kobi-israel.com/art_Exhibitions.html
mobile : 07815-100-598 or www.blueelephanttheatre.co.uk.
/ Jane Duncan (Curator B.E.T) email@example.com
/ mobile: 07941 624247
The Work of Kobi Israel at The Blue Elephant Theatre
59a Bethwin Road
(entrance in Thompson's Avenue)
Camberwell SE5 0XT
Opening hours: Tuesday-Friday 11:00am-6:00pm
tube: Elephant & Castle then buses 12, 35, 40, 45, 68, 68A, 171, 176,
486 to Camberwell Road (5min journey).
Other tube stations: Oval (12 min. walk) Kennington (20 min. walk).