"I search for people who have a legendary quality about them- a mix between odd and ordinary." —Michal Chelbin
Paulina is an emotionally and visually striking image, masterfully composed and lit. In her first monograph, Strangely Familiar: Acrobats, Athletes, and Other Traveling Troupes (Aperture, 2008), Michal Chelbin photographs performers and wrestlers, mostly children and adolescents, from small towns in Ukraine, Eastern Europe, England, and Israel. Often, the sitters are pictured in costume at home or other nearby locations, away from the stage. Chelbin addresses universal themes—family, aspirations to normality, puberty, the desire for fame—all the while offering a glimpse into worlds both strange and familiar.
Michal Chelbin (born in Haifa, Israel, 1974) has lived in Brooklyn since 2006. Her work has appeared in solo shows in Israel, Los Angeles, and New York, and in group shows internationally, and is held in many collections, including Palazzo Forti, Verona, Italy; Sir Elton John Collection; and Tel Aviv Museum of Art.