Galila Barzilai’s Eyes

Galila Barzilaï has an obsession with eyes. Her collection, which is piled into the annex of her home outside Brussels, is a huge assortment of fine art, flea market finds, and eye-themed knick-knacks, with many pieces still wrapped in unopened boxes. The playful collection is a reflection of Galila’s character, charming with a sense of humor, but also thought provoking and serious. It spills over into her house, where nearly every surface is covered in eyes, even her jewelry and shoes.

Each year the Genevan watchmaker Vacheron Costantin releases an art book titled Collectors’ Island, and this is the third of three stories I shot for the this year’s project. The first can be viewed here, it’s about a guy who is obsessed with plastic. The second can be viewed here, it’s about the man with the largest collection of Vinyl records in the world.

Galila's home overflows with all kinds of art and objects, but beneath the apparent madness lies a profound inner coherence. Here she is wearing Body Object, 2011, by Katherin Borst.

The most significant works in this display are Juul Kraijer's Untitled (2004), two versions of Les Yeux by Henri Foucault, and Jonathan Callan's Act of Will.

At home, Barzilai surrounds herself with an organized chaos made up of pieces from her "Eyes" collection, many of them by artists and talents that she discovered herself.

Tetsumi Kundo, Cage, 1978.

Yeux en cristal (45), 1920.

Daniel and Geo Fuchs, Famous Eyes, Portrait of Howard Schatz; Anne Collier's Eye, 2004 and Jonathan Baldock's Ascetism, 2008.

Jacques Van Overstraeten, Miroir.

Galila's passion for surrealism can be seen in works like My Content by The Blue Notes, 1996; Veilleur Burkinabe by Richard Di Rosa, 1999; Peeping Tom by Thomas Israel, 2006; L"oeil by Nicola L, 1969; Mr. Eyes 10 by Martin Nunez, 2010; Mark Nagata's Giant Eyezon, 2009 and Nico Vascellari's Broken Landscapes (1), 2007.

Many thanks to Studio Sibling for the invaluable creative direction and to Lara LoCalzo for her exceptional production work. All captions written by Jeanette Zwingenberger.

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