Born in 1970 in a suburb of Tel-Aviv to parents of Moroccan and Egyptian origin, Kobi Israel began his exploration of photography in 1994 when he was a flight attendant. With his camera always with him, he immortalized his experiences around the world, as can be seen in his early works. In his own words: "I use the camera as an extension of my body and senses, like I use my eyes or hands. When I 'photograph', I ask, I feel, I explore, I fantasize, I discover, I try to understand..."
In 1996, Israel studied cinematography at the New York Film Academy. He then returned to Tel-Aviv for a five-year program in Cinematography and Still Photography at Camera Obscura, the school of visual arts in Tel-Aviv, graduating in 2001.
In 2002 after a brief period in Madrid, Kobi settled in London, where he started working on a series of photography and mixed-media bodies of work exploring the multiple layers of human identity and the quest for self-definition. This project is divided into evolving chapters of experience: physical, mental and emotional. Each chapter opens a window to the artist's realm revealing an aspect of his personal quest for a tangible identity mingled with an intense desire for self-knowledge and self-acceptance.
Israel's work has received worldwide critical acclaim and recognition from a number of prestigious publications and awards. Among others, he was granted the 'Judges Choice' Award at the Association of Photographers 2003 Open Exhibition and was selected as a finalist in the 'Schweppes Photographic Portrait Prize 2003' at the National Portrait Gallery in London.
His works have been widely published in books and magazines, and are included in numerous private and public art collections throughout the world. He has exhibited in international solo and group exhibitions including Hamiltons Gallery, London; Goss Gallery, Dallas; Galerie Art 7, Nice; HUC Museum, NYC and AOP Gallery, London, amongst others.
© Kobi Israel