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Spotlight of the Week

July 1, 2010

Michal Chelbin is this week’s featured Spotlight of the Week!

Michal Chelbin’s photographs explore the world of people outside the mainstream. In her own words,

While I shoot almost all my work in Russia or the Ukraine, I feel that my interest is not social or geographical, but rather a mythological one. I return to these countries because they provide me with the visual contrasts that are the basic set up I am searching for- between old and new, odd and ordinary, as well as fantasy and reality.

Each of her projects center on a group who share something in common- Strangely Familiar focuses on the small town performers, while The Black Eye is comprised of portraits of wrestlers and athletes.  Like her previous project, Strangely Familiar, shown at Andrea Meislin Gallery (2008), Michal’s upcoming work, The Black Eye, studies the contrasts of “youth and manhood” and “strength and weakness”.  Chelbin’s photographs aim to leave questions and ambiguity while her lens captures the private emotions of her subject’s gaze.

Michal Chelbin, Dima and Sergey, Ukraine, 2006

This photograph is part of Michal’s newly released monograph, The Black Eye, a collection of pictures that capture exhausted yet powerful athletes while,

Chelbin searches for a certain expression in which they have almost calmed their breath but not yet fully regained their self-awareness. It is a moment when they have lifted their mask and surrendered to the camera. Her aim is to expose this moment, and the contradiction between the person and the persona.

Andrea Meislin Gallery will be exhibiting, The Black Eye, from October 2nd– November 13th, 2010 where the photographic portraits will be accompanied by a video-installation and the newly released monograph.  The Black Eye will concurrently be on view on the west coast at M+B Gallery in Los Angeles.  Additionally, if you’ve missed Michal’s past exhibition, Strangely Familiar at Andrea Meislin Gallery, the photographs will be on view at the Photographic Resource Center at Boston University from September-October, 2010.

Michal Chelbin currently lives and works in Israel.  She has received solo shows in New York and Los Angeles and group shows internationally, including London and Canada.  Michal has been the recipient of a number of awards and her work has been exhibited at various museums including the Tel Aviv Museum of Art (2008) and the National Portrait Gallery (London).

For additional information on Michal Chelbin and her work please visit or our website!

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