about me

The Artist / Mati Halili

By the accompanying curator – Galit Cymbalist

Mati Halili is a photographer artist born on Kibbutz Mishmar Haemek, one of the most outstanding photographers of the Kibbutz Moverment’s second generation. The subjects immortalized by Mati, with his uniquely sharp eye and wonderful sense of humor, deal with the life and landscapes of Israel. For many years, Mati has been documenting the life of his kibbutz, Mishmar Ha’emek, a community that believes in collectivism, a world gradually disappearing.  

In his photographs, Mati Halili searches for light, color, and movement, in both nature and man. He charges each image and removes it from context without digital processing but rather through change emanating from his own unique vision, which turn the picture into a kind of photographed drawing.

To the viewer of Mati Halili’s photographs, it looks as though he’s observing a nature that is part of his daily routine, seeing colors and forms in it; however, at second glance we see the change Mati makes to each image with his unique perspective as well as the accessories in the field at the time of shooting such as the fleeting light, a smokescreen, or an orange peel thrown in the air by him – a transformation takes place, changing the natural state of the photographed object and the range of emotions charged into the image.  All placed within a quiet emptiness, white air, sky blue or the green of abundant nature, transparency gleam bright colors charge the pictures with a quiet noise and hint of a smile; these are his unique sharp eye.

In the series of nature photos, the field near the house looks supposedly quiet and stable; however, having been born in the Jezreel Valley, he can discern the subtle changes that occur and of which his pictures tell.

In his series of pictures in the public sphere, he focuses on people, on movement from place to place, and the obvious question: where are they all running to? The change is so quick, but an experienced eye, a curious soul, and a ready camera record this wonderful occurrence.

Mati Halili has participated in group exhibitions in Israel and abroad: The Kibbutz Gallery in Tel Aviv, The Israel Museum, Wilfrid Israel Museum on Kibbutz HaZore’a, and the Municipal Museum of Limassol in Cyprus. Solo exhibitions: The Eretz Israel Museum, ‘Muse on the Water’ Gallery ‘Ra’anana’, Jerusalem Theater Gallery, Kiryat Tivon Gallery for Israeli Art, Mamilla Gallery Jerusalem, Ma’ayan HaYalom Gallery, Ramat Gan, Migvanim Alon Gallery Ramat Hasharon. Participated in an iconic exhibition in China on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

In 2012 and artist’s book was published called “Lamarit Ayin” (lit. “False Impression”) including a selection of his works.

His second book “Mar’eh Einayim” (lit. “What the Eyes Behold”) in 2016.

Mati Halili was among 20 artists chosen for distinction in honor of the Kibbutz Movement Centennial.

Over the years, in addition to his artistic work, Halili has documented the communal kibbutz for its uniqueness as well as the changes it has undergone