Ofir Dor is a painter, a native of Israel residing in Berlin since 2007. Since graduating from his art studies at the Bezalel Academy in Israel, in 2004, he has been showing large-scale paintings in a lush expressivity, depicting men and women in situations derived from a subliminal zone of dream, the occult and sexual fantasy. Initially working in a more detailed technique, with scenes that bring to mind a dark underworld of esoteric cliques and subcultures – as could be seen in a large one-man show he showed at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art just 3 years following his graduation – his painterly style has evolved into a freeform expressivity that owes as much to abstract expressionism as to the lyrical abstract and other pioneers of Israeli modernism. His characters, often in the nude, confront the viewer with their naïve playfulness and unabashed sensuality, making their surroundings, whether actual interiors or dreamed-up Arcadian landscapes, into the backdrops of sexual escapade.


Woman with Mirror, Man with Camera

The paintings on show, executed between 2016–2017, feature couples in erotic situations rendered through a language where symbolism, the esoteric and art history intermingle, an inexhaustible source to Ofir Dor for ideas and inspiration. The mostly nude couples are located in the domestic setting of a bedroom or hotel room, or yet in some fantasized Arcadian nature. Equipped with ocular props such as a camera or mirror, they engage in a sex play of gazes and self-display, which to the outside viewer – taking the position of a voyeur – seems naively awkward.

They indulge in their nudity, posing for themselves and their partner as they try out different positions and revel in their image as reflected or gazed upon through a window, peephole or camera. In their knowing game of appearances and the uninhibited thrill of the gaze, the male and female participants bring to mind a topic from art history, that of the artist and his model, which Dor tackles with a contemporary twist. The nude male and female figures seem trapped in a magnetic field of attraction, of conflicting powers of push and pull that, especially given the paintings’ uncertain spatiality and muddy surface, threaten to throw them out of balance.

Dor employs a multitude of layers as he explores his subject matter, aiming towards a free and intuited painterly flow to express his candid and playful themes. With the body as the focal point of his work, the sensuality of the line brings out the liveliness of the flesh and a nearly childish exhilaration, together with a certain inadequacy and embarrassment. The freeform expression, as evident in the paintings, sensitizes the viewer and alerts them to the deeply sensorial realm of the body, the personal and interpersonal.


one minute 00:22 ‎26/‎08/‎2015
you think you need a car. you want to go on the road. you go to the airport
and then you fly. when you come down to earth you take a train straight
to the marina aboard the yacht to the island. you rent a bicycle.
you take a walk. you think about space. you look up you see the stars.
you think you should travel up there in order to discover a new chemical
element so you can convert it into another element with your 9 billion
dollar particle accelerator so you can fuel your way back into deep space to find out
there is no duty free shop up there so you are better off at the airport.
off you go. taking a taxi to the marina, yachting to the train station
getting to the airport on the last minute departing on an airplane just
to land on earth again in order to take the bus to the parking space where
you parked your car. heading straight back home. 
you have been somewhere you have done something you have seen stuff.
right back to your apartement to your mailbox to your chair.
take your time when you keep an eagle eye on one of ofir dor’s big paintings.
Text by Boaz Benkuzari – 2015

Ofir Dor – CV

Born in Israel, 1972.

Lives in Berlin, Germany



  • Education


2004 Bezalel Academy of Art and Design and Hebrew University, Jerusalem MFA (Master of Fine Arts Degree)


2000 Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem, BFA


1999-2000 The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, New York, Visiting Scholar


1996 Beit Berl College, Hamidrasha School of Art, Beit Berl Certificate in Art



  • Selected Solo Exhibitions


2015 “GirlyGirlyGirlGirl”, Circle 1, Berlin


2013 “Ofir Dor”, Fresh Paint 2013, Sommer Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv


2012 “Pregnant Mirror”, Lohame Hagetaot Kibutz’s Gallery, Israel


2011 “Mr. O and Mrs. I”, Sommer Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv


2011 “Oh!”, 95 Tor Strasse, Berlin


2009 “IOI”, Sommer Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv


2007 Helena Rubinstein’s Pavilion for Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv


2005 Sadnaot Haomanim, Tel Aviv


2004 “Pastoral”, Julie M. Gallery, Tel Aviv


2003 “Water Hole”, Julie M. Gallery, Tel Aviv



  • Selected Group Exhibitions


2015 “Don’t Shoot The Painter. Paintings from the UBS art Collection” Galleria d’Arte Moderna di         Milano, Milan, Italy


2015 “Radial System”, Berlin


2014 “Five cardinal directions” Beit Uri and Rami Museum, Kibbutz Ashdod Jaakov, Israel


2010 “Portraits” Sommer Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv


2010 “Cockeye. Mail Nude in Contemporary Israeli Art”, Gal-on Art Space, Tel Aviv


2009 “Wild Exaggeration: The Grotesque Body in Contemporary Art”, Haifa Museum of Art, Haifa


2006 “Mixed Emotions”, Haifa Museum of Art, Haifa


2004 “Animal, Vegetable, Mineral”, Bezalel Gallery, Tel Aviv
2004 “Painting this Time”, Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art, Herzliya



  • Awards


2014    Residency, La Cité International des Artes  with support from  Institut Français, Paris, France


2005    Grant from America-Israel Cultural Foundation