About the Artist
In the background of the subjects Yechiel places digital collages of classic oil paintings, indicating that the artifact in front of us is neither a painting nor a photograph, but a cross-breed, born out of an act of love between the two crafts.
Alongside the timeless aesthetics, it is apparent that the subjects are very much from the here and now. From Israel, the 20s of the 3rd millennium. A liminal twilight period in which the future is unclear and the past keeps being reinterpreted. Whether they are naked or dressed – they are as exposed as one can get, with all the pain, vulnerability, despair and modest hope that life in this region has to offer.
And in front of them, in a biblical-like portrait, sits the photographer Micha Bar-Am, like some great father, representing an imaginary past that might have held answers to the big questions.
While the others often seem more like a question with no answer, sometimes lost, like the son in the Rembrandt painting the name of the exhibition refers to - “the return of the prodigal son”; only here the son has not yet returned – and who knows if he has somewhere to return to.
Yanai Yechiel (born 1968) is an artist and a magazine photographer, active in Israel and around the world. Among others, he is known for his column “Face matters” in Haaretz newspaper. He lives and works in Tel Aviv.