MY INNER EYE - PHOTOGRAPHY

Prolog

​This book is a summery of 10 years of photography. I never studied photography but started photographing seriously when l got my first digital camera and Photoshop, which became my private laboratory. The photo for me is only the beginning of my work: l add and distract until l get what l see in my mind’s eye.

l am an Urban photographer. I love the city with all its aspects - the tall buildings or the small neighborhoods, the busy streets and the roaming people.

New York for me is heaven for photographers: the skyscrapers with wonderful reflections in the windows, old streets with ruins and graffiti and the Nature in the parks and wide avenues with trees and flowers.

In 2010 my life changed: my husband Amikam and l went to New York. I boarded the plane a healthy person, but when we landed l could not walk. For a whole month l was in bed in the hotel room, not counting the few days l went to the doctor. I lay in bed wondering how my life is going to be from there on. I knew that the long days of walking with my camera are over. I knew l had to learn to take photos in my near surroundings and do something with the immense amount of photographs l had in my computer. Until then l was an active person, controlling my whereabouts with my eye and my camera, and here l was totally passive taking photos in an active environment. The anger, the pain and frustration forced me not only to dig in my computer and look through my photographs but actually to dig into my feeling and thoughts.

At this point two series were born: “Faded memories” and “Motion”. The people in the photos are isolated from time and place and express my loneliness and anger I had at that time for changing from a very active person to one that is introverted and painful.

In 2012 the evening before going to a group exhibition in Florence, my studio, on the second floor of our home was burned. It took over 6 months to fix the damage. The dreadful smell and black color remained in my mind for months during which l took pictures only in Black and White.  During this time, we went to the Golan Heights to visit my son and his family.  My granddaughter, a photographer said, “l want to take you to a place you will love”. This was in February around 5 o’clock in a cold, rainy and foggy afternoon. The place was near the Syrian border where several years before we had a war. The ruins were dark, walls covered in graffiti, dirt of years around the place and big holes of bombs and bullets. I shuddered. My brother was killed in 1948 in our war of liberation. l felt as if his hand was on my shoulder and could hear him say “this is war, Shifra”. For two years l went through those photos again and again, with the same feeling of pain and sorrow. Pain for those who died, for those left behind, for widows and orphans and old parents whose children died so young. In 2014 the series “Ghosts of war” was born.

“Future Urbanism” is a conclusion of the photos l took around the world, showing the density of cities, the future architecture and perhaps a solution too.

I love to take photos of life around me, of people and also of Nature. But most of all l love to create a new reality. Those are the photographs I create in my computer. The result of what l see in my imagination.

I think that nowadays it is difficult to be very original.  Yet l think that every photographer has his own nuances and unique eye.

I hope that my personal eye, my inner eye with which l create the world l have in my imagination is mine alone. You are herewith invited to share it with me.

 

Shifra Levyathan