The photographs of Sinai Calif-Israeli remind me of summer vacation and snapshots on the fly. Slightly out of focus and slightly off-center, his men are both self-conscious and unselfconscious at the same time, and trying to be a little bit ‘arty’ without losing focus on the fun of the moment.
Though Calif-Israeli works in color as well, it is in the black and white images that I think he excels. There is something special about the work that captures the idea of an instant in time. On his site there are not only nudes but also candid images from the streets and beaches around Tel Aviv and it is clear that the ability to spot the beauty of an everyday average regular moment is Calif-Israeli’s gift.
His nudes are not overly posed or particularly exceptional in their physicality and it is in that very sense of normality that I think the work is special. When his nudes look self-conscious it is because you get the impression that the subject is self-conscious about themselves and Calif-Israeli is merely reflecting that reality back to the viewer. And when the subject seems comfortable in their skin and unselfconscious about their nudity, it again seems to be a quality from within the model that Calif-Israeli is simply capturing and then showing back to us. It is a skill to capture those everyday moments and turn them into something more than what they are. These images remind me that there is more beauty around us every day, even in the simply things, than we necessarily remember to pay attention to, and that sometimes a little extra observation can be rewarding.
Article by Kayla