Kobi Israel

"Camera-Obscura" School of Visual Arts, Tel-Aviv, Israel: Still Photography and the Cinematography Departments, 2001

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Fragments of Life Body of Work (C Prints/ Medium Format )

In “Fragments of Life” all photographs are framed memories, temporarily relived, staged and captured. Each photograph was given a catalogue number issuing from the time of day or night associated with the depiction. The formal arrangement of image and number produces a collection of time zones integrating specific points in time, movement, space and experience.

The photographs transcend the artist’s personal stories and create infinite moments allowing us to reflect on the diversity and potency of rather banal and temporal events. The addition of a number allocating time to each image brings into play a chain of associations. In photograph number 0000, for example, the picture is associated with the midnight hour. We see a young man in a transitory stage, his sexual identity divided, blurred and alternating before our very eyes. What ever we may think of his sexual identity we are made aware by the given time zone that changes relating to his identity are imminent.

Midnight signifies a new day or a new year. It is both the beginning and the end of an era. In symbolic terms, midnight is also darkness turning gradually into light, death and birth, and the fine line separating life from death. “It takes a second to die from a gun shot”, says Kobi reflecting on his experience as a soldier, and that second between life and death, the second before change and transformation take place, is what he aims to capture in this series of photographs.

The use of body language in still 0000 is also indicative given that the young man’s gesture can be associated with descriptions of the crucifix. Hence, introducing the themes of voluntary transformation, the death of the old identity and the resurrection of the true self. The portrayal suggests that sacrifice is inevitable and accepted by the young man with total surrender.

There is a striking contrast between the young man’s lit body and environment, and the darkness of the night, which engulfs his head like an aura filled with expectations. The poetic treatment of the midnight hour paints the scene with unspoiled beauty, so it seems that lights emanating from neighbouring houses are transforming into stars.

A different state of transition is captured in still 0545. A man’s figure is silhouetted against the background of a white curtain flooded by the light of a new day. Night and day are divided by the sharp contrast of a dark interior and a brightly lit curtain. The man is positioned between night and day; darkness and light, facing the new day through the window though his body still partially immersed in the darkness of the room.

It is a moment full of anticipation though an air of sadness lingers in the vacuum of the room. It is a time of separation; the man is leaving behind the dark safety of the night and facing the new day with fresh hopes. The darkness may be filled with fear and sadness but it is also a source of pure potential and shelter. The light, however, is uncompromising, exposing one’s worries and imperfections without mercy.

Within a second the perfect arrangement captured at 0545 is no longer in existence but the special condition is entrapped within the interplay of shadow and light.

Each photograph is a fragment of life encapsulating the various layers of a single event, which is about to unfold. Each second is a crucial point in time leading to change. The artist‘s personal memories and intense range of emotions translate into a series of expressive images as he explores and recreates his identity.

Copyright Lila Moore June 03’

Born in Israel 1970
Lives and Works in London

Solo Exhibitions

2003 “Views“, Blue Elephant Theatre, London, UK ( Nov 17- Dec 20, 2003)

“Views”, The BOX, Covent Garden, London, UK

"1700“ , Zwemmer Media Shop , Charing Cross Road, London, UK-

“The Metaphysical City” at “Maison Bertaux ", Soho, London, UK

2001 "Self-Portrait / Yellow Screens" , Librairie-Galerie Les Mots a la Bouche, Paris, France

"Partnership", Photogen, Tel-Aviv, Israel

1998 "Images of Venice" , Photogen , Tel-Aviv, Israel

1997 "Cities That Never Sleep" , C Cafe gallery, Tel-Aviv, Israel

Group Exhibitions

2003 Schweppes Photographic Portrait Prize 2003, National Portrait Gallery, London, UK (Nov 5 2003 –Feb 15 2004 )

“AOP Open“ 2003, (Judge Chioce Award), AOP Gallery, London, UK

“Self-portrait / Yellow Screens“ , IOI - 2003 International Open Image, Deluxe gallery,

2002 "Fragments of Life", PHotoEspana 2002 - DescubrimientosPH02, International Festival of Photography, Madrid, Spain

"Self-Portrait, / Yellow Screens" , First International Salon of Contemporary Artists, Lisbon, Portugal

2001 “Self-Portrait / Yellow Screens" , Gallery 7, Nice , France

"Self-Portrait / Yellow Screens", Ramat Gan-Musem of Contemporary Art , Ramat-Gan, Israel

2000 "First Dawn of the 21st Century", The Millennium Project , Chicago, Illinois, USA

1999 “Dirty Frame of Mind", Doogit club, Tel-Aviv, Israel

1998 Israel-U.S.A friendship fair, Bet-Zioney America, Tel-Aviv, Israel

1997 International Salon of Photography, Rishon-Lezion, Israel

"Time Out " Magazine, London, UK

Professional studies

2001 Graduated from the Still Photography and the Cinematography departments, "Camera- Obscura" School of Visual Arts, Tel-Aviv, Israel

1995/6 N.Y.F.A -New-York Film Academy, New-York, Cinematography Course

Selected Publications

Photography books

“KOBI ISRAEL VIEWS”, 48 Pages, Full color , 2003 Bruno Gmünder Publishing

Also participating in :

"Portraits" , camera craft by William Cheung, AVA Publishing 2003

"Professional Photography Photographing Buildings" by David Wilson ,RotoVision

"Better Picture Guide to Portraits" by David Wilson, RotoVision 2001

"Dawn of the 21st Century" Published by Smashing Books, 2001

"Achbar Olam" - travel guides (Publisher: Modan, Israel) Prague, Greece, Lisbon, New- York, Rome, Florence etc )

"Hasifa" (Exposure) - Photography book

Postcard book

“KOBI ISRAEL VIEWS” , 12 high glossy postcards , 2003 Bruno Gmünder Publishing

Selected magazines

Time Out (London), Metro Life (London), HotShoe (London), Time Out (Israel) ,OUT (US),
GENRE (US) , Instinct (US) , Advocate (US), "Spartacus" (Germany), "Blue" (Australia), "Männer"(Germany), "Guide"(USA), "Homens" (Brazil), "QueenWeekly" (Paris), ReFresh (UK) , OutUK (UK) ,"Pride" (Israel), Odysseus17-2002/3 (US), The International Gay Travel Planner(US), "Freshmen" (Germany),"Sergio" (Germany) , "Pluma28" (Portugal), "Practical Photography"(UK), NowUK (UK), "Massa Acher" (Israel), "Acbar Olam"(Israel), DNA (Australia) etc.

CD covers and layout

Over 30 CD sleeves and booklets for leading record labels N.M.C music (licensees of Sony music & EMI) and Hed-Arzi (licensees of WEA & BMG), including international artist albums and compilations

Social campaign

Positive Child 2003 , The network, London

2003 GMFA , anti AIDS ,awareness campaign

Special features about my work

“OUT“ Magazine - For its December year-in-review issue ,“The leading U.S.-based arts and entertainment for the gay community, OUT magazine, has named Kobi one of "100 Most Intriguing Gay People of 2003".

"Atmosphere" -"El-Al" in-flight video magazine.
The July-August 1998 edition includes a story about my photography work and me. Featuring 25 of my photos and an interview (bilingual - English/Hebrew versions)

"Advocate"(US) - April 2003 issue


"Boulevards of Broken Dreams", 10min short film I created was screened at the" Tel-Aviv cinemateque" and broadcasted on Israel's channel 2 TV


Kobi Israel

"Camera-Obscura" School of Visual Arts, Tel-Aviv, Israel: Still Photography and the Cinematography Departments, 2001

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