The Black Eye continues Michal Chelbin's exploration of the world of wrestlers from Eastern Europe, Israel, and England. The athletes in this series are studies in contrasts: youth and manhood, strength and weakness, tenderness and rigidity, splendor and roughness. While revealing little about the lives of Chelbin's subjects, the portraits do reveal an internal drama, capturing a tension between the gaze and the presence of each individual. They face the camera empty of emotion or suspicion: just pained, sweaty, and fairly hopeless (even if physically able to defend themselves). Chelbin searches for a certain expression in which they have almost calmed their breath but not yet fully regained their self-awareness. It is a moment when they have lifted their mask and surrendered to the camera.