Adi Nes is one of Israel’s most famous photographers; his work is known for his use of homoeroticism and the challenging of traditional gender roles. His exhibits have been shown from Tel Aviv to San Diego. He is probably most notable for the series entitled ‘Soldiers’ which was criticized for its homoeroticism and usage of dark-skinned Israeli models who are often subject to discrimination for looking “Arab.”
Adi Nes was born in Kiryat Gat, the son of Mizrahi Jewish immigrants from Iran. He studied photography at Betzalel Art College, and his early work has been characterized as subverting the stereotype of the masculine Israeli man by using homoeroticism and sleeping, vulnerable figures. He regularly uses dark-skinned Israeli models, whose poses often evoke the Baroque period. Nes has said that the inspiration for his photography is partially autobiographical. “My staged photographs are oversized and often recall well-known scenes from Art History and Western Civilization combined with personal experiences based on my life as a gay youth growing up in a small town on the periphery of Israeli society,” he said.
In 2003 he had his first international break with a feature he did for Vogue Hommes. Later, Nes gave solo exhibitions at the Wexner Center for the Arts, Legion of Honor in San Francisco, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego, and the Melkweg Gallery in Amsterdam, among others. His work has also shown in group exhibitions at the Hotel de Sully in Paris and the Jewish Museum in New York, among many others. He has been reviewed in The New York Times, the Financial Times, and others. In 2005 Nes was chosen as an outstanding artist of the prestigious Israel Cultural Excellence Foundation.
Nes’ most famous piece recalls Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘The Last Supper’, replacing the characters with young male Israeli soldiers. A print sold at auction in Sotheby’s for $102,000 in 2005, and another for $264,000 in 2007. The work appeared on the front page of the New York Times in May, 2008.
Nes lives and works in Tel Aviv. His work is currently sold through the Jack Shainman Gallery in New York City. In February 2011, A Wider Bridge was honored to be a co-sponsor of a presentation by Adi Nes in San Francisco, together with San Francisco’s Israel Center and The Hub of the Jewish Community Center.
Adi Nes: Record Breaking Sale (A Wider Bridge / December 18, 2013)
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