Orit Raff attended Bezalel Academy for Arts and Design in Jerusalem, graduated cum laude from the School of Visual Arts in New York, and participated in the Independent Study Program of the Whitney Museum of American Art from 1998-1999. In 2003, she completed an MFA at Bard College. Raff creates spare photographs, installations, and video works, which suggest intimacy and the private self.
Raff created her earliest mature work, the White series (1997-1999), primarily within the domestic confines of the home. She intensified neutral objects such as a toilet bowl, bathroom drain, bed, bar of soap, and a mirror, by introducing clues about the body that occupies these spaces. She extends this theme of marks of absence in her following project Mobius Strip (2000), a compilation of images of indentations left on carpet and other surfaces in a recently vacated apartment which are imbedded into relief structures, suggesting the floor plan. The installation, Inside Drawing, combines images from elementary school with sculptural elements to evoke memories of our earliest experiences outside the home- and learning in a public place. A key element in this project was a series of old wooden desk tops with marks and inscriptions from generations of children's scribbles.
The starkness of Raff's imagery aesthetically links her work with the minimalist genre, but her references to common everyday life and objects also suggest a pop sensibility. In the late 1990s, Raff created two separate but related groups of works. The first—Freezers, a series of nine 40 x 50" "in your face" interiors of her antiquated freezer—evokes the Northern Romantic tradition of Caspar David Friedrich's dramatic icy landscapes. The second project is a series of video images depicting water in states of movement, in a steam room, jacuzzi, and swimming pool filter, the organic movement of the precipitation evoking associations with body functions.
Her project Insatiable with the subject of bakeries as metaphor for life and death cycles has been shown in Israel, New York and Rochester and is accompanied by an artists' book. Raff's work has been exhibited widely in Europe, Israel and the United States. She currently lives in Tel Aviv with her husband and daughter.