Tami Bahat: Dramatis Personae
Los Angeles photographer, Tami Bahat’s, stunning series, Dramatis Personae, creates a temporal paradox, where she straddles the space between past and present in a series of portraits and still lifes that speak to the old masters, but more importantly, speak to faces that transcend time. Using vintage props and costumes, a menagerie of animals, and simple lighting, Tami creates dramatic portraits and tableaux that rival portraits created centuries ago, and are enhanced by vintage gold frames.
Tami is about to open her first major solo exhibition, Revisiting Humanity: Secrets and Lifetimes, curated by Marisa Caichiolo, at the Building Bridges Art Exchange in Santa Monica on Saturday, January 6th, from 6-9pm. Her work is also being featured in the Catherine Edelman Gallery booth at the Palm Beach Modern + Contemporary Art Fair, January 11-15th.
Tami Bahat (b.1979) is a fine art photographer from Tel Aviv, Israel. Raised by a former dancer and a graphic artist, Bahat’s family resettled in Los Angeles when she was young.
Championed by parents who encouraged her artistic expression, she acquired a stronger knowledge of herself and others through experimentation in various media. Taking the unconventional route she left school at the age of fifteen and was given guidance by her father, who had taught at Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem. He encouraged her independent study through workshops and seminars of art history, photography, sculpture and design, further enhancing her creative vision.
A series of family trips around the world exposed Bahat to humanity as a whole and the myriad ways that people live, providing her with a keen awareness of the beauty and loss that an earthly existence brings, an undertone in much of her work.
Bahat’s fine art career began in earnest in 2010 when her photography was noticed by the editor of the U.K. publication Nikon Owner Magazine. He was struck by her bold approach and soon after, the work appeared on the cover, along with a feature story detailing her as an artist.
She has most recently exhibited her work at prominent photography events internationally, including Fotofever Paris, AAF New York and Hong Kong, as well as the LA Art Show.
She currently lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.
A deep love for imperfect beauty and the belief that art is in everyone fuel my portraiture. As a conduit to other lifetimes, I construct stories of the past through the people of my present-day life. This series, Dramatis Personae, has given me a unique opportunity to exhibit my personal connection to history, and to share my deep longing for times that no longer exist.
My father introduced me to the Old Masters when I was very young, which had an indelible impact on me. These artists spoke directly to my heart from hundreds of years away, never needing to utter a single word to explain themselves. This showed that it was possible to convey all kinds of emotion through window light, a quiet moment of reflection or even a simple object. Thus began my transition into painting through the use of a camera.
The animals exhibited in this series are authentic. These beautiful creatures have a mind of their own which I admire and fully embrace. I respect their curiosity about the world, and that they bring immense wonder and unexpected moments to these scenes.
I have acquired a diverse collection of antique furniture, props and frames that carry their own stories and maintain an authenticity throughout the work. Through these items, a piece of history becomes entwined within a contemporary piece of art. It lifts my soul that their existence continues indefinitely. – Tami Bahat
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