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Nir Hod is a man of many talents.
The Israeli-born and trained artist began as a poet and photographer before creating sculptures and, ultimately, the hyper-realist paintings for which he is most renown.
Through all media, Hod seeks to question the stability of identity, highlighting our own personal confusions before our very eyes.
Hod in his studio (Interview Magazine)
Hod’s work questions our ideas of personal authenticity, blending seemingly incompatible ideas of self-identity and questioning the fixity of others. He proposes that we can be embody multiple identities at one time, sometimes even serving as both his own male and female models for a painting.
His 2011 solo exhibition at Paul Kasmin Gallery synthesized Hod’s investigation of personal identification in a series of paintings and sculptures of paradoxical children: part child, part adult, trapped within the cross-sections of social categorization.
Petrus, 2008 (Courtesy of Paul Kasmin Gallery)
Hod portrays his ironic children as affluent and sophisticated individuals, implementing the opulent, excessive aesthetic that defines Hod’s hyper-realism.Hod also uses these children to examine the ideas of wealth and privilege, concepts that can be seen throughout the artist’s work.
“I wanted to take the expressions of the really sophisticated. People always have something very bitter in their face because they have always been very spoiled. When you are too sophisticated, you almost separate yourself from society because people don’t understand you…You become lonely because people are afraid of you.”
— Nir Hod (Interview Magaizine)
Thus, privilege itself exemplifies the themes Hod looks to explore; that at any one time we are conflicted in our own identity; between male and female, sophisticated and lonely, life and death.
Hod is based in New York City. His work has been the subject of exhibitions for over two decades, including a survey exhibition at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art and solo shows at the Paul Kasmin Gallery in New York, Alon Segev Gallery in Tel Aviv and the Davide Gallo Gallery in Berlin.