NEW YORK, NY.- Mike Weiss Gallery
presents Territory, a new series of Photorealist oil paintings by Israeli artist Yigal Ozeri. Featuring his largest portraits to date, the series depicts a young, female Israeli soldier, whether in full military regalia or in contemporary dress, set against a rugged ocean landscape. Ozeri imbues each work with emotional insight into the young woman's psyche, resulting in a duality likewise reflected in Ozeri's own lifethe emotional boundary where the artist reconciles his sentimentality for the homeland he left behind with the country he now calls home.
Throughout Territory, Ozeri combines his meticulously rendered details with spontaneous and loose brushstrokes. Wispy flyaway hairs, minute droplets of water, glimmering reflections of light, and crisp folds of wrinkled clothing stand out against a somewhat hazy background. Drawn in by the delicate features of the paintings, viewers begin to discover that the portraits demand further contemplation beyond their immediate visual impact. The young womanwhether shown standing on jagged rocks in military uniform or reclining in the sparkling Mediterranean waters in an ethereal dressgradually and elegantly reveals layers of underlying palpable emotion. Ozeri's brush thoughtfully captures intimate moments that reveal the young woman's personality through nuanced facial expressions, gently controlled gestures, and a profound gaze.
A dialogue is created between the woman and the Israeli landscape that surrounds her. The solid, implacable rocks appear to mirror the strength and confidence she projects, and the luminescent glimmers of the ocean water reflect her spirit and tenacity. Consequently, the woman becomes the embodiment of the various struggles, tensions, and binaries that abound in Territory, generating discussions on personal strength, physical passions, national propriety, and human vulnerability. The title of the show refers to these intersecting boundaries, be they figurative or literal. They are also mirrored in the way Ozeri's romanticized nostalgia for his homeland is carefully counterbalanced by a meticulously observant, yet removed, viewpoint of the current political dynamic of Israel.
Yigal Ozeri was born in Israel and has lived and worked in New York for the past twenty years. He has been exhibiting with Mike Weiss Gallery since 2003 and has shown extensively around the world, with recent solo shows in Montreal, Munich, San Francisco, Amsterdam and Copenhagen. The artist currently has works in the traveling exhibitions Photorealism at the Kunstahalle Tübingen and Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, and in Photorealism Revisited at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art and the Butler Institute of American Art. His work is included in the book Photorealism and the Digital Age, and in a number of prominent permanent collections including the Whitney Museum of American Art; the McNay Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas; The Jewish Museum of New York; The New York Public Library; The Israel Museum in Jerusalem; the Tel Aviv Museum of Art; the Haifa Museum of Art; and the Albertina Museum in Vienna, Austria.