Sigal Ben-David's work is an investigation into the role of objects in constructing and deconstructing the narratives around which we organize our lives. Ben David’s rigorously composed images speak of the orders we create that often serve to forge even greater disorders. Found objects reflect a curatorial instinct to preserve, categorize and revalorize. Emptiness lends value to everyday things that we use to structure and define identity. In a world that has been emptied out, opportunities are multiplied for the creation of new meanings. But are these new meanings implied or projected? Perhaps as a result of her upbringing in Israel, her images rigorously examine the role of a home and its absence - in how we structure and define our social and political identity.
Ben-David treats her work as landscapes - though the word is released from its traditional signification. Rather, landscape is here extended to mean the totality of ways in which we arrange both the natural and artificial aspects of our habitations, and their significance in how we conceive of ourselves.
In her more recent works ("I Am an Alien", 2017; "My Playground of Others' Memories", 2014 - 2017; and "Nuance", 2018 - Ongoing) the landscapes were created in the studio by reconstructing subject matter and substance. Ben-David's images are confronting with the abstract aesthetic structures that underlie the natural and artificial environments, while experimenting with forms, shapes, textures, patterns and substance, through which she generates a dialogue between photography and FineArt, conceptual rigor and playfulness, representation and abstraction. A reminder that what we are looking at is not reality per se, but a reality the artist created.
Sigal Ben-David was born in 1973 in Israel. She graduated of Camera Obscura School of Art, Tel-Aviv, Israel, majoring in Photography, in 2009. And was a participant in an Art program - Digital Media Major in 2008-2009 at the Kibbutzim Collage of Education, Technology and the Arts, Tel-Aviv, Israel. Recent exhibitions include "The Essential", LoosenArt Magazine/MILLEPIANI Art Space, Rome, Italy, Group (2018); "Seen And Unseen", Collective Gallery, Woodstock, NY, Group (2018); “Through Compassionate Eyes”, The charter Oak Cultural Center, Hartford, CT, Group (2018); “Memories: From the Experience to the Construction of the Past”, LoosenArt Magazine/MILLEPIANI Art Space, Rome, Italy, Group (2018); Limner Gallery, Hudson, NY, Group (2017); "Wish You Were Here 16", A.I.R. Gallery, Brooklyn, NY, Group (2017); "Undetermined Landscape", Two Moon Art House, Brooklyn, NY, Solo (2013); "DOF", Tokyo International Forum, Tokyo, Japan / Group (2011); "DOF", Architects House Gallery, Tel-Aviv-Jaffa, Israel, Group (2011); "Preservation Jar", Artness Gallery, En Shemer, Israel, Duo (2011); "No.Where.Else", France Cultural Center, Nazareth, Israel, Group (2010); Tel Hai Open Museum of Photography, Tel Hai, Israel, Group (2010); "Woman 3000", Garage Gang, Kiev, Ukraine, Group (2010); "Untitled", Ha’Chalalit Gallery, Tel-Aviv, Israel, Group (2009).
Sigal Ben-David lives and works in New York, NY.
SIGAL BEN-DAVID'S CURRICULUM VITAE
Untitled (Hotel Room series)
Silver gelatin print
Haaretz newspaper, Galeria
Exhibition | L'Institut français de Nazareth
Exhibition | Collective Gallery
HAPPY NEW YEAR
Les, on photoshoot day.
C-O-L-O-R-S! (And, an insane amount of work...)
Drying wool on the fire escape… L-I-G-H-T☀️💡!!! Huh, so this is what the color really looks like...
3 AM, nice to be back in the studio...
Experimenting with dyeing wool — Stains.
Morocco | məˈrɒkoʊ | المغرب
NUANCE. Love the early hours of the morning, the air is so crisp...
Another day, working on NUANCE.
(Perhaps this nuance thing got into my head... I am, obviously, very thrifty with words.)
An extension of the studio...
Pomegranates. Pattern. Repetition.
An extension of the studio...
In the studio. Working on Nuance.
In the studio. Working on Nuance.
OPENING RECEPTION - Seen and Unseen exhibition.
Installation day - Seen and Unseen exhibition @ Collective Gallery, Woodstock, NY
A snapshot of our work from Memories: From the Experience to the Construction of the Past exhibition @ MILLEIANI, Rome, Italy.
Opening reception - Through Compassionate Eyes Exhibition The Charter Oak Cultural Center Gallery, Hartford, CT
"My Playground of Others' Memories" at the framing studio (it's great to see the images all dressed up!)
Left: Working on an assignment. Right: Photo shooting summer newsletter.
Digital sketches for the project: Nuance
FEBRUARY - MARCH, 2018
Printing em large, the series, My Playground of Others' Memories @ The Print House in TLV.
About town in Tel-Aviv. (Ordinarily, this is my studio journal, but since this trip to TLV was a bit of a soul searching journey – Home, identity, memories, et cetera – it feels quite appropriate to be included here.)
HAPPY NEW YEAR
Exhibition opening at Limner gallery.
Yada, yada, yada...
I bumped into this big bag of metal hangers on the corner of Elizabeth and Houston street. Although, I am long past my hanger-fetish, I couldn't resist and grab them. I gave it a week before I finally ditched them. Needless to say, some things are better left in the past.
Another attempt to figure out what to do with the bears!
In this plunge - which succeeded - we dipped the Teddy bears' furry "skin" in plaster-of-paris. Voilà!
It makes me think of David Lynch's Elephant Man. It meant to be abstract and not to have a story. The moment we put a human figure into an image, we start to look for a story.
I made this voodoo immigration doll; cutout of a shower curtain and stuffed with immigration paperwork. When I started playing with the idea of doing something with all my immigration documents that piled up, my initial thought was to create a faceless, featureless creature. But, this dark arts immigration doll was... hmm... lacking darkness. I ended up doing something rather different.
Un-stuffing the Teddy bears. Apparently, it's quite a messy job to un-stuff stuffed bears.
The digital sketches of the Field of Colors image. Experimenting with cling film food wrap, vaseline, and other semi-conventional modi operandi.
A forced cookery of imaginary beauties, a series of mighty marvellous facts, which, spreading an air of fiction through the whole, all in course weaken that interest and regard never paid but to truth, or the appearances of truth; and are only fit to give a false and adulterated taste of passion, in which a simple sentiment is superior to all their forced productions of artificial flowers. (J. Cleland, Coxcomb, op. cit., p. 47-48.)
There is something about antique tools and hardware that creates instant nostalgia. We had to keep this in mind, so the image of the tools reconstructed, won't end up all corny and sentimental.
Quiet holiday season. Working in the studio. Developing film in my darkroom (dark-closet more like it.). It feels quite alright.
Working on White Wedding in the studio. Converting the bedroom into an extension of the studio... not sure if it was because we were out of walls or because of the light.
Am working on the background for 42 and still trying to figure it out. Inspired by The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. The number 42 is the "Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything". Unfortunately, no one knows what the question is.
The porcelain dolls painted black.
Exhibition Opening at Artness gallery.
(I believe, this is Pini's silhouette)
Tel-Aviv studio. Couple of months before leaving to NYC.
The exhibition at the Tel-Hai Open Museum of Photography. Installation day.
Opening of the exhibition at the French Cultural Center.
Curator: Yossi Nahmias (I sure miss you.)
Sigal Ben-David, 2018 All rights reserved