Born in Jerusalem (Israel), 1970Lives & works in New York (United States) Very active in: 2000s, Current decade
Born in Jerusalem, Israel in 1970, Orit Raff graduated with a MFA at Bard College. Orit has previously attended the Bezalel Academy for Arts and Design in Jerusalem, obtained a BFA in the School of Visual Arts in New York. In 1998 to 1999 she participated in the Independent Study Program of the Whitney Museum of American Art. In 2003 she completed an MFA at Bard College.
Orit Raff creates spare photographs, installations and video works which suggest intimacy and the private self. Her earliest mature work, the White series, were made primarily in the private areas of the home. Raff turned neutral objects such as a toilet bowl, bathroom drain, a bed, a bar of soap and a mirror into cool meditations on hygienic whiteness intensified by introducing clues to the body that occupies these spaces. This theme of marks of absence is continued in her installation Mobius Strip, which combines images of indentations left on carpet and other sites in a recently vacated apartment which are imbedded into relief structures suggesting the floor plan. The installation, Inside Drawing, combines images from elementary school with sculptural elements to evoke memories of our earliest experiences outside the home- and learning in a public place. A key element in this project was a series of old wooden desk tops with marks and inscriptions from generations of children's' scribbles.
The spare ness of Raff's imagery links her work aesthetically with minimalism, but her references to common everyday life and objects also suggest a pop sensibility. In the lates 1990s created two separate but related groups of works- the freezers, a series of nine 40 x 50" "in your face" interiors of her antiquated freezer evoke the Northern Romantic tradition of Caspar David Friedrich's dramatic icy landscapes. A series of video images depict water in states of movement- in a steam room, Jacuzzi and swimming pool filter- the organic movement of the precipitation evoking associations with body functions.
Her project "Insatiable" with the subject of bakeries as metaphor for life and death cycles has been shown in Israel, New York and Rochester and is accompanied by an artists' book. Raff's work has been exhibited widely in Europe, Israel and the United States. She currently lives in Tel Aviv with her husband and daughter.