Nadav Kander is an internationally renowned photographer, director and artist based in London. Born in Israel, he moved to Johannesburg when he was three. He is a self taught artist, and his method is pure, but the purity creates a visual that is complex and dramatic.
He has a wide scope of work which spans landscapes and portraits as well as huge commercial projects. Nadav Kander captures the mundane, everyday reality in an astonishingly beautiful way. “I work with the human conditions that link us all: the vulnerability of mankind. What it is to be alone in the world. What it is to be human."
His series 'Signs that we Exist' makes a chilling statement of how transient humanity is, seeming to highlight our irrelevance on this earth, and the careless destruction we can cause. But in their simplicity, as in this picture below of chewing gum stuck to the street, his pictures also depict a vulnerabillity, and a poignancy.
©Nadav Kander Signs that we Exist - Chewing gum
Likewise in collection of photographs depicting scenes along the Yangtse River in China, he shows how humanity is changing the landscape. He captures a country which is at odds with itself, at once steeped in history and tradition but also moving forward with such a speed that it is almost destroying all that has come before. 'Why do we have to destroy to develop?' The pictures he has taken here could never be taken again as everything has changed now. Humanity has made its mark with little care for the natural world surrounding it. There is a absolute loneliness about this series, but also a clear statement about the human impact on nature.
©Nadav Kander Yangtse - The Long River - Old Fengdu
Last year Kander chose to portray humanity to different effect, with Bodies. 6 women. 1 man.
This series of nude portraits shows how fragile the human body is. He wanted the images to be original but also authentic. The contrast of the alabaster white skin and red hair agains the black background recalls Elizabethan purity. The models hide their faces for shame, yet they are naked. It is a complicated kind of beauty.
“Revealed yet concealed. Shameless yet shameful. Ease with unease. Beauty and destruction, These paradoxes are displayed in all my work; an inquiry into what it feels like to be human. Wherever I may be, my pictures seek to expose the shadow and vulnerability that exists in all of us, and it is this vulnerability that I find so beautiful.”
©Nadav Kander Bodies - Isley Standing
His commercial work, ranging from advertising campaigns to Album covers, is truly beautiful. He is able to marry the client and industry in a magical way. In fact one if his best known images was originally meant for a campaign for a car, but was never used. The image is simple in its concept but absolutely breathtaking in its execution.
In contrast to his previous series' which depict the destruction that humans can create on nature, this image pulsates with human fragility and a feeling of the world being so much bigger than we are.
©Nadav Kander Diver - Salt Lake
In 2009 Kander photographed Barrack Obama for The New York Times Magazine as a cover feature.He then had 52 full page colour portraits published in one issue of The New York Times Magazine. These portraits (from a series titled Obama's People) were of the people surrounding President Barack Obama. The same issue also included a series of cityscapes of Washington DC also taken by Kander. This is the largest portfolio of work by the same photographer The New York Times Magazine has ever showcased in one single issue. He captures such an intimate portrait of the president in this picture – drawing the viewer in, like we are witnessing a very private moment of thought.
©Nadav Kander Barack Obama
Nadav Kander's photography always tells a story, always has the ability to make us think. He has won many awards and has photographed many famous people but his brilliance is in the intimacy of his portraits and the vulnerability which he invites us, the viewer to witness.