Photography Exhibition by Toby Cohen: Project Abraham,
March 29th – May 27th at Engel Gallery
In his second solo-exhibition at Engel Gallery, British photographer Toby Cohen showcases a series of large panoramic photographs that depict the story of Abraham. These photographs touch upon biblical elements and maintain the picturesque tradition that accompanied the original tale.
Five staged photographic works will be showcased in the exhibition, bringing Abraham's story to life:
In the panoramic work Abraham's Tent, Cohen staged a scene that captures the arrival of the angels to Abraham's tent, as Abraham himself washes their feet in a gesture to welcome them.
Another photograph, Abraham and the Three Angels, pays homage to James Tissot's famous painting from 1897, which shows Abraham lying on the grown in a pleading or anguished position. His face is hidden, whilst the angels' faces are exposed.
The third work that can be found in the exhibit brings to life Genesis 18:22, "… and went toward Sodom". In the photograph, Abraham escorts the angels before they leave on their respective journeys – be they of mercy or of havoc.
The fourth work in the exhibit, Angels, shows the three angels in flight over an endless black background. To capture this photograph, Cohen enlisted a tent from the Florentine Circus and photographed the three characters in mid-air as they jumped on a giant trampoline.
Alongside the three large panoramic photographs described, the exhibition showcases portraits of the participants in the project. These photographs reveal Cohen's personal outlook on the story – he attempts to humanize these mythical characters in an effort to confront the viewer with the humanity that lies in every one of them.