Israeli photographer Adi Nes, best known for his photographs of Israeli boys and Israeli Defense soldiers, is also widely known for his “Last Supper,” and its homoerotic challenge to Israeli machismo and the Christian message of looming betrayal and death; which has made it one of Israel’s better known pieces of contemporary art.
To further his subversion of the stereotype of the masculine Israeli man, Nes regularly uses dark0skinned Israeli models, who are often the subject of discrimination in Israeli because of their close resemblance to Arabs. The models’ poses often evoke the Baroque period, and are often purposely depicted while sleeping, evoking a sense of vulnerability. Nes has said that the inspiration for his photography is partially autobigraphically.
“My staged photographs are oversized and often recall well-known scenes from Art History and Western Civilization combined with personal experiences based on my life as a gay youth growing up in a small town on the periphery of Israeli society.
Nes’ “Last Supper” is currently features at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem exhibit “Real Time: Art in Israel, 1998-2008,” one of six exhibits to be featured in the upcoming months, one for each decade of the state’s existence and each in a different museum across the country.