November 16, 2008

Eyal Danieli: Helicopters, bombers and camouflage

Israeli-born, New York-based Eyal Danieli paints metaphors for aggression that explore the contradictory emotions of being both victim and victimizer. His show at Elizabeth Harris came down on the 8th, but I wanted to mention it nonetheless. In The Brooklyn Rail Tom Micchelli reports that the paintings' "irresistible graphic sensuality pulls us in while their sharp, sometimes nasty, sometimes ludicrous imagery holds itself in abeyance, ready to bite. Translated as they are into a Western modernist vocabulary reveling in painterly incident, we tend not to notice that Danieli’s work is teeming with images from the Middle East. Instead, we look at a picture of a helicopter and think of Apocalypse Now. Caught up in our own media-obsessed provincialism, even as two prolonged, ruinous wars continue to wreak havoc in Iraq, Afghanistan and neighboring countries, we persistently skirt the complexities of the issues roiling the region in favor of simplifications rooted in ignorance, fear and self-absorption. Danieli’s paintings may recall photography or film, advertising or aesthetic theory, but these all-too-common associations are distractions from contemplating the real lives being lived beneath those helicopters, or the depth of our complicity in their plight." Read more.

"Eyal Danieli: In the Mood For Love," Elizabeth Harris Gallery, New York, NY. Through Nov. 8.

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