Born 1979, Kfar Yona, Israel
Lives and works in New York
Eli Barak’s photographs in his “New Clothing” series are essentially a collection of still-lifes with the artist concealed amongst a seeming discombobulation of random artifacts. There is, however, order in this chaos. A certain underlying tension of stillness collects the objects into a breathing still-life, the result of a carefully planned performance piece captured on film
Barak’s photographs deal with issues of cultural and ethnic identity. His use of discarded, undervalued objects is a remnant of his blue collar youth growing up near trash dumps and his younger years when he worked as a garbage collector. There he found merit in the forsaken junk of others. His works delve into a new, sometimes comical, aesthetic. The hilarity is in the randomness and the beauty is in the balance, color and tension in his pieces. By hiding his self in the composition, the viewer has no access to his true identity, the one he himself is examining. This, essentially, renders Barak a “secret agent” in his own journey for cultural assimilation.
Eli Barak is a recent MFA graduate of the School of Visual Arts in NY. He is currently based in New York.