September 9 – October 22, 2000
I choreograph photographic portraits in private bedroom settings. The image that results reveals the exchange between artist and model. The portraits disclose character rather than a simple document of a moment in time.
Following this encounter, I alter the photographs on the computer with drawings and writing. The transformations from the original photograph blur fiction and reality and allow me to offer a personal visual comment on the shared experience.
My portraits of women in their private chambers reveal and uncover the layers of personality that may be beneath what is overtly apparent. While a common theme directs my actions, each portrait becomes a kind of unplanned exploration of the sitter and myself. I’ve chosen the bedroom as the stage because it is both a comfortable place to undress personality and a place where people can loose consciousness and self-consciousness. The bed itself is a place where one relinquishes absolute control and permits unseen aspects of oneself to emerge.
The graphic drawings and writing I add are loose – at times they appear to be a scribble – moving across the surface of the image in response to the figure within. On many of the pictures I superimpose a mask, which can act as a technical agent to generate a distinctive personality or character. I see the mask as a bridge between non-western ritual and contemporary forms of manipulation, disguise, and social camouflage. In other images I present the bedroom empty and bereft of its resident. Through collage and drawings I infuse the space with a new presence of my own invention.
LILI ALMOG studied photography at the Camera Obscura School in Tel Aviv before moving to New York City in 1985. In New York, Lili worked as a photojournalist for international news publications and focused on fashion and portraiture. To concentrate on her artwork, she enrolled in the School of Visual Arts and graduated with honors in 1992. Almog created surreal collages of heads and women figures from disparate centuries. “I built contemporary images by rearranging older ones, inspired by the cycles of history.” In her recent Mask series, she blends contemporary portraits with ancient disguises. Her work has been exhibited in the U.S., Europe, Australia, and Israel at venues including the Goodwin-Ternbach Museum, NYC, the Alternative Museum, NYC, the Houston Center for Photography, and the Schneider Gallery, Chicago. Almog has been commissioned to produce book and compact disc art covers for Koch International, CRI records, BiCameral, and has been published in New York Magazine, Photo District News, The Village Voice, and Four By Five Art Magazine.