American, born 1982.
The work of Alex Israel is deeply entwined with his hometown of Los Angeles. The artist, who was an assistant to Jason Rhoades, creates art that riffs on Hollywood culture and the cult of celebrity. His first major body of work consisted of rented studio props, transformed into readymades by their placement in the gallery—some blatantly obvious in their artificiality. He gave celebrities the same treatment in the video series “As It Lays”, video portraits based on campy TV talk shows. In the interviews, he asked banal questions to the likes of Marilyn Manson and Phyllis Diller in hopes of revealing the true essence of these public figures.