Culture & Communication
With essays by Eran Bar-Gil and Crista Dix
Daylight Books, April 2016
Rubi Lebovitch is an Israeli artist whose photographs deal with domestic scenes characterized by mystery, vagueness and absurdity. His photographs in Home Sweet Home (Daylight Books, April 2016) show home settings that are difficult to identify; their relationship with the world around them seems senseless. The restlessness characterizing his work is connected to Freud’s concept of the « Uncanny, » which locates the origins of horror in the homey and familiar. The scenes depicted in the photographs emphasize what usually remains hidden: the repressed, which cannot be described. The anxiety they arouse in the viewer undermines the peacefulness and security usually associated with home.
Lebovitch writes: « At times, my photographs can be seen as an illusion of the Theatre of the Absurd … [they] do not contain a clear-cut story or plot. The characters are inscrutable to the viewers … Rationality is substituted by a twisted and exaggerated worldview. I employ a multiplicity of objects, allowing the objects to grow stronger and take over reality; they occupy and control the space. In most of the photographs, the focus is on the objects, as such, they become the center of power, emphasizing loneliness and emptiness. »
In Lebovitch’s manipulated reality, a woman sits in a kitchen gorging herself on an oversized tray of spaghetti; magazines and newspapers are strewn across a room rendering it uninhabitable; hands are placed inside a toaster like two slices of bread; a woman sits on a sofa knitting a sweater directly onto her body; a ludicrously long bunch of keys hang from a man’s pants; and an un-potted plant creates a mess all over the floor.
Lebovitch focused on street photography until the birth of his twins seven years ago required him to spend a lot more time at home. As a new father, he observed things he had never seen before, including how his children started using ordinary household objects in different ways that are incomprehensible to the adult mind. This inspired him to create a new body of work centered in the home that through the prism of parenting is imbued with fresh contexts and meaning that transcend the familiar and introduce untapped, exciting possibilities in a place he thought he knew.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Rubi Lebovitch is a photographer, living and working in Tel Aviv, Israel. He was born in 1974. His MFA in Art and photography was received from Bezalel Academy of Art and Design. His work has been shown in various solo and group exhibitions in galleries and museums around the world. His Home Sweet Home series has been exhibited in several galleries in the US, including the NewSpace Center for Photography in Portland, the RayKo Photo Center in San Francisco, and the Center for Fine Art Photography in Fort Collins. For more information about the artist, go here.
Lebovitch’s work has been honored with prizes from CENTER in Santa Fe, Kaunas Photo Star, the Japan Media Arts Festival, and the Morton Mandel Fund. His work is held in many public institutions, among them, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Center for Fine Art Photography, Fort Collins, CO and Leumi bank, and also in private collections in Israel and abroad.
Eran Bar-Gil writes articles and reviews for the Israeli press, and has published a collection of short stories, two books of poetry and two novels. Crista Dix is the owner and director of the Wallspace Gallery in Santa Barbara, California.
ABOUT THE PUBLISHER:
Daylight is a non-profit organization dedicated to publishing art and photography books. By exploring the documentary mode along with the more conceptual concerns of fine art, Daylight’s uniquely collectible publications work to revitalize the relationship between art, photography, and the world-at-large. For more information, visit daylight books.org.
11 x 12 inches
112 pages, 45 color images