Q&A with Israeli photographer Yaakov Israel | Sun. Sep. 7, 2014
Post & Courier
Yaakov Israel is among his country’s new generation of artists shaped inevitably by current events and history. Yet he is determined to reach beyond the headlines to create work that explores profound ideas and themes.
Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art director Mark Sloan, invited to Israel two years ago to get to know visual artists at work there, met the photographer and immediately began conceiving an exhibit, now on the walls of one of the two galleries. (The other has photographs by Kathleen Robbins.) Israel will be in town to give a free gallery talk at 7 p.m. Tuesday. The event is co-sponsored by the Halsey and the Yaschik/Arnold Jewish Studies Program.
The Post and Courier took the opportunity to ask Israel about his work.
“Oppressive Flatness” With Kathleen Robbins’ Into the Flatlands | Wed. Sep. 3, 2014
Echoing her grandmother’s words, Kathleen Robbins said, “I felt possessed by the place just as much as I possessed it.” This place is the Mississippi family farm Robbins grew up on, and the centerpiece of her photo collection Into the Flatlands, on display now in the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art.
Four for Mark Sloan | Fri. Aug. 15, 2014
Consulate General of Israel in Atlanta
Four for Mark Sloan, Director and Senior Curator, Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston
- You were on the curators’ delegation to Israel with your peers and colleagues from the US. Can you describe that experience?
It was my first time to Israel and it was an overwhelming experience for me and my colleagues. We didn’t know what to expect. Traveling to a country like [Israel] with such a complex, layered history, one tends to build up images in their mind. Growing up as a Protestant, I had the Bible images in my head. When I got there I saw something very different. I was very impressed by the country and the kindness of the people. I thought the quality of art was very high and exceptional. We also saw a dance troupe that was incredible. We were certainly never bored.
Delta Blues | Tue. Aug. 12, 2014
When author James Cobb referred to the Mississippi Delta as “the most Southern place on Earth”, he obviously wasn’t talking in the geographical sense. Located in the north-west corner of the US state, the Delta is synonymous with the Deep South; although it lies at that region’s northernmost point, its people and history are rich with Southern character. The Delta is shaped in every aspect by the two rivers which enclose it on either side – the Mississippi and the Yazoo. These waterways mean the ground is extremely fertile, making it ideal for growing crops such as cotton, and many a plantation owner made their fortune in this way. The legacy of that business also left its mark on the racial and economic profiles of today’s Delta, with the stereotypical “rich white folks and poor black folks” still remarkably evident. As well as being a blessing to agriculture, the rivers can also be a curse, with an ever-present danger of flooding hanging over the Delta, and uninhabitable swampland covering swathes of the extremely flat landscape.
Yaakov Israel | Mon. Jun. 23, 2014
An interview with Yaakov Israel on his work “The Quest For the Man on the White Donkey”, which is the result of years of short trips that Yaakov undertook in the Israeli-Palestinian territory.
Yaakov Israel, born in Jerusalem in 1974, studied Photography at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design and, since 2004, has been teaching photography in some of the most prestigious photography schools in Israel. Yaakov’s photography seeks to investigate the identity of his native country, the way it is mirrored and comes across in its architecture, in the landscape and its inhabitants. His is a very complex country, the traits of such complexity being clearly discernible both in its social fabric and in its territory, which bear the scars of the numerous political, cultural and religious conflicts that have been ongoing for years.
The Brilliant, Forgotten Futurist Who Predicted the Kindle | Mon. Jun. 2, 2014
Don ZanFagna is the most fascinating technological soothsayer you’ve never heard of. Last year, when the artist/architect/engineer passed away, he left behind a basement full of boxes and crates stuffed with ideas that were well ahead of their time.
Spoleto inspires artists and the audience | Sun. Jun. 1, 2014
Between performances of the Gravity & Other Myths’ “A Simple Space” and Hubbard Street Dance on that same Friday, I waylaid Margaret “Tog” Newman” on Calhoun Street outside of the College of Charleston’s Halsey Institute.
We fell under an Obey Giant, reggae beat, and Shep Rose spell this weekend | Fri. May. 30, 2014
Charleston City Paper
On the way to Normandy Farm the other day, we noticed an enormous mural on the side of College Lodge, heralding the return of native son and street artist Shepard Fairey to the realm of Holy City public art. A little digging yielded a wealth of info: he’s hanging out in town, he’s doing four more murals, and he’s got more range than the “Obey” and “Hope” prints that made him famous belie. Days before his installation at the Halsey opens, Fairey stopped by the Charleston Music Hall for an on-stage chat with Halsey director Mark Sloane. The Music Hall was packed, and the attendees ranged from aging hippies to heavily tattooed college kids. Guests bopped along to the Gang of Four soundtrack, tittering in anticipation of a glance at America’s political silk-screen god. Finally, Fairey emerged, a 40-something ruffian in a jean jacket. The crowd erupted in applause; he really is an art rock star.
Shepard Fairey Returns to South Carolina Hometown for City-Wide Art Show | Fri. May. 30, 2014
The Hollywood Reporter
Charleston, South Carolina, is no stranger to conflict. It was the site of the first battle of the Civil War, and it’s also the hometown of one of the most outspoken human rights advocate artists of our times. The Holy City – named for its prevalence of churches – welcomed back one of its own this past week, as the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston opened an exhibition of Shepard Fairey‘s work, along with four public murals around the city and a series of conversations with the artist. Oh, and parties.
Shepard Fairey opens up about commercial success, its relation to his artwork | Tue. May. 27, 2014
Post & Courier
Often called one of his generation’s most influential street artists, Shepard Fairey is known for his works that often challenge the American dream, capitalism and greed.
Those themes are obvious, if not explicit in Fairey’s new collection of works, “Power & Glory,” which was unveiled Thursday at the Halsey Gallery of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston.
Images of smoking factories, guns and oil spills are seen throughout the collection, painting a single portrait of a consumerist culture gone awry.
Perhaps equally intriguing, however, is the fact that the Charleston native has proven over the course of his career that an artist can be a mouthpiece for anti-commercialism and at the same time a markedly successful entrepreneur.
In addition to installing murals and creating works of fine art, Fairey heads a globally distributed clothing label and a graphic design business sought out by famous musicians and companies.