Isley lying with white mouse on hip, 2012-1©Nadav Kander, courtesy Flowers Gallery, London

Image Source: Isley lying with white mouse on hip, 2012-1©Nadav Kander, courtesy Flowers Gallery, London

Silent and spiritual, physical and fleshy, Nadav Kander’s portraits in London’s Flower’s Gallery exert immense visual power. Ashley Jouhar explores the Bodies exhibition and finds some unexpected parallels

Who?

Nadav Kander

What?

Photography exhibition: BODIES – 6 Women, 1 Man at The Flowers Gallery, London.

Michael curled away, 2012 ©Nadav Kander, courtesy Flowers Gallery, London
Michael curled away, 2012 ©Nadav Kander, courtesy Flowers Gallery, London

Decisive Moment?

Less is more – a great example of reduction – it’s what is left out that makes what remains so powerful and compelling. The use of white bodies, red hair and black backdrops is sophisticated simplicity.

Elizabeth with hand on shoulders, 2010©Nadav Kander, courtesy Flowers Gallery, London
Elizabeth with hand on shoulders, 2010 ©Nadav Kander, courtesy Flowers Gallery, London

Trend?

The celebration of real bodies. Jenny Saville paints them as did Lucien Freud. Dove used them in their skincare campaigns and even Marks and Spencer have employed real size women in their recent clothing collection campaigns. Italian Vogue also published a great series of fashion images last year with plus size, voluptuous models. In Nadav Kander’s images, he shows the visceral, fragile nature of naked bodies but combines this with a ‘classical statue’ approach. The pictures are not idealistic – they’re honest and real but also beautiful.

Elizabeth with elbows hiding face, 2012©Nadav Kander, courtesy Flowers Gallery, London
Elizabeth with elbows hiding face, 2012 ©Nadav Kander, courtesy Flowers Gallery, London

Which Image? Which Room?

A flame haired female nude, face hidden by her hand, red hair streaming behind her. Botticelli’s Venus for the 21st Century perhaps! The thighs are imperfect, the arms are larger than what is considered to be ideal but the image is beautiful and arresting, nonetheless.

Isley standing, 2010 ©Nadav Kander, courtesy Flowers Gallery, London
Isley standing, 2010 ©Nadav Kander, courtesy Flowers Gallery, London

One question for the Image Maker?

You seem to have a number of striking visual approaches or treatments to your work – although they are connected in some way. What creative process do you go through to determine which subject matter deserves which treatment, lighting and colour palette?

Stella as Maderno's Saint Cecelia ©Nadav Kander, courtesy Flowers Gallery, London
Stella as Maderno’s Saint Cecelia ©Nadav Kander, courtesy Flowers Gallery, London
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