Adi Nes

Israeli, 1966–present

Since the series Soldiers (1998), in which Nes portrayed Israeli soldiers, layering with their fragility, the sexual tension and homoeroticism are ever present in his works.

Nes’ meticulously staged images are both autobiographical and a recollection of recognizable scenes from Renaissance or Baroque paintings and biblical allegory, with artistic ambition to search for a universal and timeless humanism, by depicting Western civilization and referring to his own memory based on his gay youth in Israeli society.

One of the central themes in Nes’ works is religious allegory, such as Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper: he replaced the biblical characters with young male Israeli soldiers, soon this photograph made the cover of the The New York Times in May 2008, enjoying a commercial success through the auction house Sotheby’s. 

More recent and noticeable works include The Village (2012), a series of metaphors for Israel, a small place that was built after a tragedy, and its external beauty, at the same time something dark and not so quiet under the surface, as he describes it. Nes’ works have been presented in the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego and the Jewish Museum in New York, among others.