Whether Brooklyn-based photographer Yael Malka is taking photos of feet covered in a thick layer of Vaseline, teenage girls making out on the bed or a man peeling off a face mask, she forces the viewer to come face-to-face with the Other.
A graduate of the esteemed Pratt Institute in New York, Malka has spent her artistic career exploring the ways in which individuals respond to each other in the modern world. Her photos depict the universal struggle for a sense of identity and the search for authenticity through touching bodies, fragmented collages and flowers in bloom. Skin, saliva and slime are common motifs in her work, provoking disgust and intrigue in the same breath. Hints of sexual exoticism and fetishism can be found in the folds of these intimate images.
While some of Malka’s photos are loaded with symbolism, such as the liberated knickers drying on the clothing line, others are more nuanced, such as girls swimming alone in pools. But through it all, Malka reconfigures the male gaze, presenting us with alternative perspectives that are not so strictly bound by patriarchal structures.