Slaves (2012–2017) is a grouping of over 28 oil paintings, 32" x 24" each, of famous slaves throughout world history. This work will be on view at the Saginaw Art Museum, Michigan in 2018.
(Below is an excerpt from an essay by Daniel Belasco)
"The plainly entitled Slaves is a series of 28 oil paintings, each 32 x 24 inches, that depict varied historical and contemporary individuals who fall into the category of “slaves” because they all had lived as a slave for a period in their lives. Like in his previous portrait series 48 Jews (2007–Present) and Great Americans (2008–Present), Lahav delves into fraught symbolic territory. In each series, Lahav employs portraiture to question basic assumptions about the relationship of historical memory and collective identity. Lahav takes the viewer on an impolite journey from ignorance to awareness, aggressively pushing an engagement with stereotypes and values. Lahav’s portraits can be visually beautiful but jarringly “wrong” representations with intense swaths of color and irreverent compositions that often overwhelm our ability to read the likeness. For Lahav, familiar representations become “oscillations” between the known and unknown, the personal and the political, the abstract and the representational. The viewer goes along for the ride."