Foto Friday – Retrospective for fashion-forward Mula Eshet
In our time, photo manipulation has become as much a part of fashion photography as the photographers themselves. Without Photoshop, a new photo exhibition, opening this week at Holon’s Beit Meirov Art Gallery, takes that concept to task, presenting works from the 60s, 70s, and 80s by fashion photographer Mula Eshet. In those times, as the title implies, photographers worked hard to present the camera lens with the most arresting and interesting scenarios because there were no second chances.
In a radio interview today, Eshet said that he, together with his wife, the artist Dalia Eshet, always tried to find unusual locations and tell a story that expressed thought and originality. Venues like the Dead Sea, the zoo, the streets of Tel Aviv and even the Lebanon War were his backdrops. The couple served as stylists, makeup artists, directors, producers, designers — even model scouts, as there were no modeling agencies when they first started.
Eshet: “In the pre-modeling agency days, the relationship between fashion houses and myself was direct. Entire collections were sent to my studio and from that moment on until I got the photo I wanted I dealt with finding the models, designing and producing the image (including location and accessories) — and ‘decorating’ the model (the term ‘styling’ didn’t exist [in Israel])”.
Dalia Eshet: “He loved select the ones that came with a background in dance and movement. The model’s personality was an important component expressed in his photography”.
The exhibition presents photographs of those personalities, including Israel’s leading fashion models of the period, such as Penina Rosenblum circa 1972, before she became Israel’s most famous cosmetics queen / reality show / hoochie mama / ex-Knesset member…
Heli Goldberg went on to an acting career – including one of her best-known roles as a shopping cart bashing pudding thief in “The Battle For Milky” commercial…
The amazing Michaela Berko, Israel’s first 80s supermodel export (who recently paid homage to her famous Vogue cover on the cover of Israel’s La-Isha magazine)…
Exotic Tami Ben-Ami, who lived a supermodel’s life before they gave it a name. She dated wildly popular basketball player Aulcie Perry and was Gottex’s first house model. Sadly, she died of cancer in 1995 at just 40 years old.
The exhibition photos were selected from tens of thousands of images saved by the Eshets over the years, published in Israeli fashion magazines, catalogs, posters, ads and more. Definitely worth checking out, as is this report about Mula Eshet in his heyday.