26 March 2014

Eyal Pinkas is a photographer, holding a masters’ degree from the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem and a bachelor’s degree from the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam. His studies in Europe resulted in themes of alienation and detachment alongside the internalization of abstract and textural photography, raising typological questions on the essence of photography itself. Pinkas’ latest body of work corresponds with the advertising world and explores cheap objects and goods, which as photographic representation get elevated in the semantic space of culture.

On the edges of surrealism, Pinkas creates delicate and meticulous compositional installations of objects and life-like sets, encompassing suggestive anomalies, such as solid colors or variable textures. His photography is brought to the verge of the abstract in certain points, successfully elevating the photographic language beyond the documentary and emotional aspects, which usually tie it to the immediacy of our world. The minimal shifts seemingly demolish the entire set up, exposing its lack of base. Despite the complete lack of human presence in his photos, Pinkas selects the objects for his images out of anthropological interest, examining the concepts and lifestyle of certain cultures. He photographs packages of goods, processed foods, cookware, and household items. Similar to an archeological photographic documentation, he brings the items into the studio, lighting them artificially, thus dramatizing them pseudo-scientifically. Pinkas plans each aspect of the shoot, constructing a festive faux universe, which actively takes part in the worship of the photographed object, while simultaneously ridiculing it. Pinkas’ preparation for his work commences long before the actual moment of photographing: he chooses, constructs, assembles and creates a structural set up, which will eventually become the object of the image. In fact, Pinkas is also a sculptor who directs objects in a space similar to a director working with actors on a movie set.

However, indirectly, beyond the artificial formulae, a world of need is created, in which the object is a myth devoid of meaning and man rotates around it in an invisible orbit, out of the frame.

Text: Tali Tamir, taken from the Young artist award catalogue, 2012.


Eyal Pinkas (b.1980, Haifa, Israel) is a photographer and video artist based in Amsterdam. In his recent work, the artist takes everyday objects such as chairs and mattresses and dexterously manipulates them into fantastical yet elegant compositions, which he then photographs. The camera becomes the means by which to document these studies into the alternative identity of objects. By releasing these everyday pieces of furniture from their domestic responsibilities, Pinkas is transgressing traditional systems of classification and offering up alternative and compelling environments.

‘The Landing’ (2007), is a series of four photographs taken in different bedrooms, each featuring a physically contorted, displaced mattress. The wooden bed frame has similarly renounced its function and becomes another prop in a comic domestic adventure. In one of the photographs the mattress is impaled upon wooden pickets, in another the mattress bows and wedges itself comfortably within its tailor-made station. Under Pinkas’s scrutiny, in ‘The Landing’ such a graceless and unmanageable object becomes full of potential. It could equally be a landing pad prepared for an unknown arrival, or it has just landed, an awkward spacecraft that has somehow manoeuvered itself into in its wall-papered hangar.

The often humourous quotidian theatre Pinkas stages within his photographs shares much of the lateral strategy and inventiveness associated with Richard Wentworth and Fischli & Weiss. Underpinning Eyal Pinkas’s photographs of playful, idiosynchratic assemblages is a logic by which the artist systematically studies the shifting identity of objects and subtly changes our understanding of them.

Eyal Pinkas completed his BA at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy, Amsterdam (2003-2007). In 2008, his work was included in ‘New Visions’, Kunsthaus Essen, Germany; ‘F/Stop’, 2nd International Photography Festival, Leipzig; ‘The Polaroid Show’, The Apartment Gallery, Amsterdam and he completed a site specific video installation at Ketelhuis, Amsterdam as part of ‘Filmisreal’, Israeli Film Festival.


Text: Leigh Robb, Taken from Saatchi Online Critic’s Choice, 2009.