September, 2012 Monthly archive

This Saturday I will fly to Israel for the country’s 2nd Photo Festival taking place in the Tel Aviv Jaffa’s Port. My main goal is to participate and look at works by some very talented friends. My more humble goal is to bring peace to the middle east, but I’ll probably fail.

In Israel first Photo Festival I exhibited some of the portraiture work that I was regularly shooting a few blocks away in my studio that had wonderful view of the Mediterranean beach. I exhibited photographs around the narrative of power, individuality and personal history. Moshe Shai, one of Israel’s best photographers alive, curated the exhibit. The work Fight Club demonstrated the usage of brand names as a tool of self defense. Another piece, Psychological Warfare, examined how history can sneak into our modern life. The composition had dividing elements, each revealing clues from other times, not allowing the viewer to position the subject anywhere in history. The last piece was much more ironic. The image Red Revolution showing member of the Israeli Parliament Ilan Gileon during a photo shoot for the election campaign. In this image, though the campaign fantasy is broken into parts, weakness seems as power once again.

Photographer: Moshe Shai

Photographer: Moshe Shai

The best part though for me in Israel’s 1st Photo Festival was definitely the photo-op with Magnum’s photographer Micha Bar-Am.

Photographer: Moshe Shai

For Israel’s 2nd Photo Festival, I selected completely different type  of work, photographs from the other side of the world. A few days ago I gave an interview for the Israeli media about a photo series of the Republican candidates that I shot earlier this year. Some of these photos are present in the body of work American Mirror.

American Mirror is a large series of photographs showing contemporary America, which is the fruit of work that’s been ongoing since 2008. Some of the images were shot on my first trip to the USA and many since I’ve resided in New York.

Mostly equipped with a 28mm lens, I took shots of contrasts across the nation. Soon after I shot the historical celebration of gay marriage outside of Stonewall  in New York, I took the picture of Rick Perry opening his hands for God in DC. In Cleveland, I captured a fairy trying to give a little boost to the stock exchange and in Florida a confederate flag in plain view of the interstate highway.

Historical celebration of gay marriage Photography Gil Lavi

Rick Perry Photography Gil Lavi

Fairy in Cleveland Photography Gil Lavi

The Confederate flag Photography Gil Lavi

Hollywood Hero Photography Gil Lavi

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Please take a look at the article on Photo District News

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What started as a short trip for lunch in Williamsburg transformed itself into two-day visit in artist studios around the neighborhood.

Nothing in the horizon suggested the major happenings that took place inside of the nearby walls. Williamsburg seemed quite quiet from the porch view of the great French restaurant where we sat. It was only when we walked to an abandoned area of the neighborhood, next to a gas farm, that we noticed a small green sign calling us to visit an open studio under the title “Go Brooklyn”. It was the emptiness of the area that made the sign so clear and without many other attractions, we decided to follow.

We walked the stairs of the old gas farm and another view of Manhattan and Williamsburg spread in front of us in two directions.

The two tornados that happened earlier the day didn’t tip us off that the weather would break again. We first walked into the studio of 3 artists: Peter Gynd, Sarah G. Sharp and Parsley Steinweiss. Each of them exhibits very different works, and the discussion was extremely interesting. I especially noticed the differences about the way in which the 3 artists related to their work, and talked about it, and how much the presentation was aligned with their pieces. They were all enjoyable and showed significancy, but the work of Sarah was touched me to most, aesthetically and conceptually. Her work has deep ties to her upbringing, with modern applications reflecting the experiences of her adult life.

Parsley’s work explored how different mediums, when brought together face to face, can create art in their resulting points of view, for example when a 4×5 camera is up close with a computer monitor, creating a mass of brightly colored pixels that look as if they are in another dimension.

Peter’s work was a creative exploration against the historical context of the Hudson Bay Point Blanket by showcasing the blanket in various scenarios. In one, he has the blanket wrapped around him in a Ghandi-like position. In another, he depicts himself as a Roman with the blanket draped over his shoulder.

Down the hall I met Rebecca Graves, who traveled extensively, including 10 years spent on a boat. Her work was influenced extensively by traditional Japanese aesthetics, but her subjects were current and and deal with modern life. Her pieces were similar to woodblock prints, but she showcased elements and symbols on them that, when placed together, had an eery sense of indifference, mixed with an impending sense of doom, such as the silouhette of a clearly Western girl dancing along, not noticing the two jets above her, which were not very different from those that flew into the towers on 9/11.

We left Rebbeca’s studio too early, as we wished to run away from the rain that started pouring slowly outside. On the way I found a photo op of others looking for a piece of roof.

After the rain stopped, on the way to the L train, we saw another green sign calling us to go up, and so we did. It was surprisingly comforting to hear Hebrew in the beautiful space of Pessi Margulies. Her work left me speechless. Her drawing, sketching, and sculpture work yield so much emotions to the materials, bringing life to everything she touched. Regardless of the medium, her work was delicate, yet so strong. This was a great finale for a great art tour in Williamsburg.

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Press Release (Originally by the International Photography Awards IPA):

Photographer Gil Lavi was awarded five times during the 2012 International Photography Awards Competition (IPA) in Fine Art , Lifestyle, Architecture panoramic photography categories.

Gil Lavi was Awarded: Honorable Mention in Special – Panoramic category for the winning entry “Central Park.”

Gil Lavi was Awarded: Honorable Mention in Fine Art – Abstract category for “Existential Fear.”

Gil Lavi was Awarded: Honorable Mention in Fine Art – Other category for “Hot Summer Pain.”

Gil Lavi was Awarded: Honorable Mention in People – Lifestyle category for “The Water Parade.”

Gil Lavi was Awarded: Honorable Mention in Architecture – Buildings category for “Children’s Garden.”


Gil Lavi born in Jerusalem on January 1st 1985 in a family with attraction to art. Lavi began his communication career as a writer for local newspapers at the age of 14. At the same age, his photographs were exhibited publicly for the first time and by the age of 16 Gil was already working for a daily newspaper. During his compulsory military service with the Israeli Defense Forces, Lavi served as a chief photographer for the Ground Forces Command. In 2006 he established his own commercial photography and brand imagery consulting studio. In 2008 Lavi began working on commercial projects across Europe and the United States. During this period, he created 3 exhibitions of his personal work including “Under Attack” (looking at the impact of the global economic crisis on the United States), “Freeze” (focusing on urban life style in major Berlin, Paris, New York, Prague, Warsaw and Tel Aviv) and “City of War” (examining the psychological implications of a war through a view of the suburban terrain). Later the same year Lavi was chosen by Forbes Magazine as one of the 300 most successful and promising Israelis under 40. Towards the end of 2009, the Israeli government hired Lavi to create the photographic concept and to produce the imagery for Israel’s brand book and worldwide rebranding process. Lavi also produced and edited a photo essay about the murders of gay teenagers in Tel Aviv, published in the International Time Out magazine. Engaging people through photography has progressively played a major role in Lavi’s career. He has been invited by different organizations as a keynote speaker at various conventions in the U.S., Israel and Latin America. Lavi’s recent exhibitions include Month of Photography LA “One Shot: The City”, New York Photo Festival “Feast your Eyes” photo exhibition, Solo exhibition at Tomasella of SoHo NY, “POV”, Israel’s 1st photo festival, “What is Religion” by WHcreation, “Energy, Strength or Power”, Half Moon Bay, California, “Envisioning Justice”, New York, “The Lie of the Land”, Tel Aviv. Lavi often interviewed on TV and was featured in pieces and profile articles in different publications including Popular Photography, Photographer Monthly, Amateur Photographer, PDN Photo District News, Photo Resource, F8, Ynet, Israel channel 1, channel 2 and channel 10 . Besides his personal work, Lavi has shot for Delta Airlines, Knorr, AIDS Task Force, Wired magazine, the Israeli government, Michael Bloomberg, Technology Review, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Siemens, leading politicians and in conjunction with ad agencies, including Publicis, Y&R, and IPG. He holds the 2011 IAA Silver award for excellence in Commercial, Advertising & Fashion photography.

The 2012 International Photography Awards received nearly 18,000 submissions from 104 countries across the globe. IPA is a sister-effort of the Lucie Foundation, where the top three winners are announced at the annual Lucie Awards gala ceremony. The Foundation’s mission is to honor master photographers, to discover new and emerging talent and to promote the appreciation of photography. Since 2003, IPA has had the privilege and opportunity to acknowledge and recognize contemporary photographer’s accomplishments in this specialized and highly visible competition.



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