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The Skin




In this project, he chose to focus on skin as the main motive to facilitate his research around, as the Human skin is a phenomena by itself. It is ever changing, adapting and renewing itself all the time. Skin is our most visible and exposed organ, it is the interface through which we can sense and create physical contact with the surroundings,  and the surface that separates between the self and others, between the interior and exterior. But yet, it is charged with many social and cultural aspects that can be miss-judged just by its appearance. 

Along the process of focusing and researching the skin it got more values than just a visual element and slowly become a metaphor to identity.

Along his practice as an artist, Elkayam was always drawn into the under-rated and unseen aesthetics. If it's in materials that he used, a phenomena or a story.


Our perception of different aesthetics can be located along the axis between attractive and repulsive reactions, but these values are not absolute. Beauty, isn't always about the serene and harmonious. It is often the tension and dissonance that make something to be truly captivating.


What makes something to be appealing and fascinating and another to be rejected and irritating? Is it the context? The cultural values? Personal preference? While everything diverges from the beauty standards deemed abnormal, rejected, and unappealing, He aim to explore the ambivalence and duality of these so called polar notions, embracing the fascination of the unattractive as an expressive artistic language that delves into the magnetic forces that shape human connections and distances toward visual stimuli. 





Through these questions he started to develop intuitive methods for visualizing and materializing these terms of defining aesthetics as attractive and repulsive. Trying to dismiss the dichotomy between these terms by a generating a sense of feelings within.


As a first step he was starting to revolve around the topic of skin on himself, by creating a series of self portraits as small acts of distorting and defamiliarizing himself on his face, using materials from the skin care world of content.

Through this series he was also facing questions of self identity and insecurities of his own facial features, while using his face exposed in the front of the quest.

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Next he began working on and examining other’s faces, using portraits photographs and trying to analyze the essence of facial features and its range of appearance that make the distinction between visual normality and abnormality perceived by society.

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Using digital tools to explore it, led eventually to a series of material and aesthetical decisions while shifting into with physical objects - applying different manipulations and treatments of abstraction and disassociation of its original context. He was testing, playing and documenting his work, creating a sort of archive that explores and displays the visual language of this project. 



​The creation of four face masks was the first step of applying these aesthetics values into an object, allowing to test the visual language of individuals and collectives, and claiming back ownership over one's skin.

As it is an object charged with meanings of hiding, masking and covering our identity, these mask reveals another layer of abjection, exaggerating features and textures and exposing rather than for hiding. 



As humens, we are the carriers of our identity, among other physical and  and non-physical features, our skin serves as a visual vessel that categorize our social status and body image.

Skinny / fat, young / old, well maintained / neglected, and many more conflicting contrasts that can be identified by our skins.


The objects he was creating and the material he was using, involves the tension within themselves. It is hybrids of aesthetics that contrast the binary and polarity of attraction and repulsion.

As a part of a larger scale of examining skin as a term referring not only to humans but also as applied in plant life, animals, materials and objects.

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