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NIR HOD  /  YOU ARE NOT ALONE  /  September 8, 2006 – October 7, 2006  /

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Installation View, 2006

You Are Not Alone
September 8 – October 7, 2006
Opening Reception: Friday, September 8, 2006, 6-8pm
The Jack Shainman Gallery is proud to present You Are Not Alone, its first exhibition of works by Nir Hod. Hod’s latest paintings – large scale works (roughly 7 x 12 feet) – use provocation, beauty and glamour as intoxicants. The paintings’ visual seduction becomes the medium through which Hod entices the viewer into a deeper meditation on the mysterious, impassioned and lonely search for meaning in a world of mediated images.
Hod’s seven large-scale paintings in You are Not Alone establish a conversation amongst themselves, each work a facet of the shimmering stone of Hod’s Romantic endeavor. Flowers, an image of a large floral wreath suggests the fleeting nature of love, a symbol of excessive beauty, nature’s decadence.  A memento mori, Flowers’ color is a visual assault of violent color, whose beauty is already beginning to fade.
I Love… an image of a hand cutting the titles words into the flesh of the figure's forearm, is both indulgent and shocking on first glance.  With time, we become aware of the ghostly figure haunting the shadows.  Is this the figure, the memory of the lover who inspired this self-destructive act of desperate affirmation? Coffin of a Porn Star depicts a young woman exposed, on her back, eyes closed.  No one is tending to her needs, and the state we find her in is rendered in stark contrast to the beauty of the flowers in the foreground.  The striking perspective Hod has chosen for this work implicates us in her demise.
Broken Hearts depicts a beautiful young pop star, passed out or possibly dead, a dusting of cocaine around his nostrils.  His oblivion appears to equal bliss, while the broken hearts of the title reflect on our impassioned celebrity culture that affords so many an opportunity to express and project their longings and desires.  Stephanie mirrors the image of rock star, only with a young woman laid out on her back facing the viewer, a look of pain and understanding in her eyes.
Generation depicts the artist himself on a bike, alone at night in the Meat Market area of Manhattan where he moved in 1999 after leaving Israel for New York.  The work speaks to the aspirations of all those who come to New York seeking fame and fortune, or a community in which to find themselves. While the bright lights of restaurants like Pastis glimmer in the background, the figure we see is disconnected from the promise of this fashionable and trendy neighborhood, heading in his own direction.
Finally, in Farewell Sofia, a portrait of an elegant greyhound swaddled in furs, brings the question of love back to the foreground. The eyes of this dog are in contrast to its models in the classic works of Van Dyck or Rubens, where dogs are often part of the tableau of wealth and glamour.  While all that is present in Hod’s painting, it is the need for contact and the longing for companionship that echo beyond the evidence of status and point to the loneliness and humanity behind all his work.
In 2005 Hod was the subject of a solo exhibition titled "Forever," Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv
(catalogue) Recent group exhibitions include “Poiesis,” Jack Shainman Gallery, New York, "The New
Hebrews – A Century of Art in Israel," Martin-Gropius-Bau Museum, "Rose c'est la vie: On Flowers in
Contemporary Art," Tel Aviv Museum of Art, "Stop & Stor," LUXE Gallery, New York, "Pets," Time for
Art (Zman Le'Omanut), Israeli Art Center, Tel Aviv, “Wonderyears: New reflections on the Shoa and
Nazism in Israel,” Neue Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst (NGBK), Berlin; Künstraum Kreuzberg /
Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin

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