Yigal Ozeri Interviewed By Beautiful/Decay
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New York based artist Yigal Ozeri will debut a stunning solo show at Mark Moore Gallery this Saturday, October 30. In his latest body of work, he captures rock royalty model/actress Lizzie Jagger, daughter of Mick Jagger & Jerry Hall. Posing in lucious velvets amidst a hauntingly ethereal frozen landscape, Ozeri’s dramatic, rock ‘n’ roll, sumptuously gorgeous portraits call to mind the unparalleled beauty of Pre-Raphaelite painters. Injecting a much needed dose of beauty, depth and complexity to Photorealism, Yigal Ozeri’s works dance between liminal realms of reality and fantasy, imagination and truth, nature and transcendence.Read more below or at Beautiful/Decay.
The subject of your latest solo exhibition at Mark Moore Gallery features the rock-royalty model & actress Lizzie Jagger, the oldest daughter of Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall. Can you talk a little bit about how you came to work with her, why you chose her as a subject?
Lizzie is a special individual. I was introduced to Lizzie by a mutual friend. We cannot forget that she is the daughter of Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall. Like the famous quote says, “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” Both of her parents were such monumental, iconic figures that she is the ultimate model. To me she represents freedom, joy, and love.
Can you talk about collaborating with Lizzie for the images and what you envisioned at the outset? Why did you choose the snow as the setting?
She came to the photo shoot on one of the coldest winter days we had last year. The entire park was covered with white snow, everything was frozen.
I absolutely love the portrait of Lizzie smoking with her eyes closed…at first, I almost thought the smoke was some kind of magical trope, and when I realized it was from a cigarette it immediately became sort of rock ‘n’ roll, of this era. The portraits, for me, are timeless; you can’t quite place the temporality of many of them. But a woman smoking a cigarette also makes them contemporary at the same time. And its an odd juxtaposition in nature. How did the poses with the cigarettes come about?
From the moment she arrived, Lizzie started to chain-smoke. Smoking in nature? The staff on the set was a little confused as to why I wasn’t upset at her taking all these “smoking breaks.” They asked, “Are you paying her to smoke?” Nobody understood why I kept filming. I thought it was brilliant.
This was her connection to nature. That was her passion for nature, that was her joy, her relaxation. That was a new challenge for me. She smoked and she smiled with great joy. That was enough for me. “I got what I need,” I told everyone. The white smoke that materialized from the wet white snow was visually stimulating for me.
What inspires you as an artist, whether visually, conceptually, musically…?
It is always the first moment with the model in the natural atmosphere. How the model connects with the natural aspects. Her first interaction with her settings. Her initial timidness, slight reluctant behavior, insecurity, embarrassment, the model’s direct gaze, her openness. Sometimes the model experiences joy from her settings, that is the most important element in my eyes. If it doesn’t happen then the work will never happen. All of those aspects affect my work.