I've been thinking a lot about how I should write about my trip to Israel. Israel is an emotional, political, historical, and spiritual topic for me, as it is for many Jewish bloggers. However, what I try to do with ModernTribe and this blog is present a different side of Israel. Aesthetics, beauty and cleverness in design, what is fresh and new in the design world in Israel (and the space of Judaica across the world), is the focus. I want to expose the world to a different angle other than what we usually see on the evening news or at Temple and thus give people another way to see and perhaps connect to Israel. Therefore, my blog posts about my trip will largely focus on design and culture. But know, dear readers, Israel moves me in all the other ways too. And a trip to Israel is, most importantly, about deepening ones understanding of politics, history, and spirituality. But, while doing those things, I urge you to notice and enjoy the very new and exciting things happening in design, fashion, art and architecture in this thriving nation.
Part-human part-animal creatures have a long mythical tradition. Egyptian Anubis has a head of a Jackal and body of a man. Homer's Harpies have the head and breasts of a woman but the body of a bird. And winged cherubs precede those found in our own Tenach (Hebrew Bible or Old Testament).
Dotan Bahat creates modern-day hybrids in a series he calls Alpha Men. The alpha male is the dominant one in a group of males. Dotan explains,
Alpha Men is a tongue-in-cheek comment on masculinity; each character
represents a symbolic male role - men in various roles of power - and its
animal head either compliments or contradicts its bearer’s designated role.
Dotan's artistic study of masculinity is inspired by his personal experience in the Israeli infantry. There he witnessed and experienced the jarring halt of adolescence and rapid maturation Israel's compulsory army service requires.
The doom ushering Crow General, the sensitive brute Gorilla Wrestler, and the ever-changing Chameleon Politician are just some of the alpha personas Dotan sees men donning today.
We have prints of Dotan's artwork for sale on ModernTribe.com.
You can see more of Dotan's work on his website.