Shay Dashevsky takes pictures of people in their own homes – in the living room, bedroom and kitchen, with their belongings scattered like souvenirs. Whether order or chaos, his camera captures the reality of what is there. Every subject is from a different country, and together it’s a collection of six stories in six houses. Each story deals with questions of home, roots, belonging, and above all – what is freedom?
The sixth and final story is that of the photographer himself; like pieces of a universal puzzle, his story combines the other stories into an image, a self-portrait. Those individuals are all part of him: the refugee, the artist who falls in love with a girl living in a foreign land, the woman who immigrated to a commune in France; they all live inside him, house number six. Or maybe it is he, the vagabond that in the past four years lived in more than a dozen different homes all over the world, who gives them safe-haven within the rooms of his roaming heart; and through his gaze, his art, his camera… shelters them, opens a door to their stories, sharing his own.
“Homeless” is the most challenging photography project I’ve worked on. The photos were taken in downtown Tel Aviv, in the central train station area. I was strongly influenced by the work of Bruce Gilden: I used a wide-lens, got as close as I could to the subject, and used flash whenever possible. Most importantly, I wanted the people to be aware that they’re being photographed. The project appeared as part of an exhibition in the Jaffa Gallery, and was curated for the online gallery of Social Documentary Network.
I’ve been a photographer ever since I “found” myself: I was about 14 years old, and armed with the superb Olympus OM 10; To this very day, that camera remains at my side, capturing the important moments of every-day life. And while the aim of my art remains the same, I’ve since accrued technique through constant practice and by carefully studying my favorite artists: Cartier Bresson, Joel Meyerowitz, Alex Levac, Bruce Gilden, Elliott Erwitt, Garry Winogrand, Robert Frank and William Klein.
In addition to working as a commercial photographer, I constantly work to develop my style through personal projects, as well as being a photography tutor in Tel-Aviv street photography courses.