Litvak Contemporary, Tel Aviv
Itamar Freed: My photographic work draws upon a return to the classic paintings of Art History. Through the use of color, natural illumination at its extremes, open composition and multiple vanishing points that simultaneously draw the observer’s eye to different focal points of various events, the borders between dream and wakening are blurred.
According to Freud life is built from these two tendencies — “Maximal vitality, as opposed to a comprehensive sense of death.” My artwork contains a death-dealing element, and a life-giving element. Questions arise about aesthetics, temptation and beauty in contrast to defects and death: the images require the observer to create an identity not based on memories or past impressions, but rather that exists here and now.
In recent years, the primary focus of my art has been on people and an attempt to decipher the true essence of the portrayed subject, to peel away the layers and create “transparency.” My work began with observation of the faces of people around me, so that special, less obvious details were revealed to me, those details that are below the surface that constituted a sort of invitation to me to invade, an invitation to intimacy beyond the tiny mound on the skin. From the intimacy of the exploring profiles I have conjoined to direct photography that depicts artificial, staged figures with realistic representations of portraits and landscapes. While the viewer standing opposite of wilderness landscape photographs that are located on an axis between actual and artificial landscapes, may choose his position: to be located within a closed space and to look outwards through a window at the landscape, or to look inwards into a three-dimensional diorama model built within a display box.
I feel that my photographs are at once poetic and shocking, and subvert the true nature of things in the world. The camera serves me as a scientific, anthropological research tool and as a tool for self-observation while the hyper-realistic photographs I create are subject to the unprotected mercy of the observer's view.