When we first encountered Zack Balber's work, he was exhibiting photos of hookers at the Spinello Gallery. He'd arranged to split sales with their pimps after paying the streetwalkers $10 for a "date" to pose for him.
"Tamim," his first solo show at Fredric Snitzer Gallery, opens on October 5. Balber's subjects do not look like the squeaky-clean Bear Jews typically drafted for the Bislamach Brigade of the Israeli Defense Forces. In fact, a portrait depicts a notorious E-thug who mocked Miami-Dade cops on YouTube, making national news and earning him time in the slammer.
The 27-year-old Balber spoke to us about his own Bear Jew brotherhood, how attending school in Pittsburgh made him forsake his heritage, and the spiritual reawakening inspired by his project.
Tuesdays-Sundays, 10 a.m. Starts: Oct. 7. Continues through Nov. 5, 2011