(b. 1970 in Tel Aviv, lives and works in New York)
In his videos, sculptures and realist paintings, Nir Hod creates luxuriously stylized worlds of beauty, loneliness, glamour and death. As Richard Vine wrote in the catalogue for Hod’s survey exhibition at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, “From the beginning of his career, Nir Hod has opposed the ideology that labels sumptuousness an esthetic sin. His work openly substitutes the pleasure principle and a fluid multiplicity of selves for the old notions of high seriousness and personal authenticity.” In his recent series of “Genius” paintings and sculptures, Hod depicted aristocratic young men and women whose cherubic cheeks contrast with their scornful expressions and smoldering cigarettes.
For his solo exhibition at Paul Kasmin Gallery, Mother, Hod created a series of paintings that reference the iconic photograph, taken by the Nazi photographer Franz Konrad, of Nazi soldiers clearing out the Warsaw Ghetto during the Second World War. Although most of the scholarship and speculation about this photograph has centered on the identity of the young boy with his arms raised, Hod’s paintings focus on the woman in profile closest to the photographer. By removing this faceless and often overlooked woman from the historical context of the original photograph, he asks the viewer to consider who she was and to imagine the life that she could have had. Hod depicts her posing or dancing against a lush, cinematically lit background, a beautiful handbag draped across her arm. Alluring and fashionable, the woman in these paintings has completely escaped from the horrible reality of the original photograph.
SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS
Once Everything Was Much Better Even the Future, Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York
Mother, Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York
Genius, Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York
Nova 7, Alon Segev Gallery, Israel
Faded Heartache, Davide Gallo Gallery, Berlin
You Are Not Alone, Jack Shainman Gallery, New York
Image: © Mauricio A Rodriguez 2014.