Michal Chelbin (b.1974, Israel) produces sympathetic and compelling portraits of circus performers, prisoners and miltary youth among others and often focuses her gaze on the Ukraine and Russia. The settings and costumes may seem exotic but her portraits capture a transcedent sense of individual character. The palette is intensely appealing, with a distinctive use of saturated pinks, blues, and greens. Chelbin's black-and-white images have an almost Pictorialist richness. Though her influences are evident—most notably August Sander and Diane Arbus— her photographs have a unique visual and emotional impact. Chelbins work is held in many important collections and has been shown internationally.
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