Israeli artist Yinon Shamshins is known for photographing his subjects’ state of mind. As a trained clinical psychologist and a member of the Jewish faith, Shamshins deals with personal trauma and pain on a constant basis. Internalizing these experiences, the artist uses his camera like an emotional sensor, capturing the moods and feelings of his subjects as they sit, stand, and pose for the artist, at once afraid and eager to put themselves on display.
In Lotus, we see a young man submerged in a pool of water with an object floating above his neck, dragging him further down the well of depression. In Auschwitz, Motherless, Fatherless, the camera distorts a bare tree, swirling its limbs around as if they were being flushed down the drain. Both his patients and the Jewish community continue to wrestle with the crimes and misfortunes of the past. Using visual images to give us a glimpse into the minds of others, Shamshins shows us the power of common understanding, helping us make sense of emotions and experiences too painful to describe.