Musée caught up with London based photographer, artist and director, Nadav Kander, and in an exclusive interview featured in Nude + Naked + More, elaborated on his series Bodies.6 Women.1 Man. Nadav has been a recipient of numerous awards, and is one of the most sought-after portrait photographers working today.
I'm wondering why you decided to do this series on the naked body?
I had been working intensely on the Yangtze work, that won the Prix Pictet award, for the previous two years, editing and printing for the exhibitions etc. I've got a beautiful studio in London which I love working in and I wanted to work closely to home for a while. I've always been interested in the nude but never really found a way to work with it that wasn't in the dangerous and problematic area of nude photography which can very easily link you to a different area of photography that I'm not interested in.
I can name numerous photographers that photograph the nude, but it has always been quite hard for me to find a way to photograph the nude so that the viewer wouldn't be considering the sexual side of the nude rather than the sculptural side or the vulnerable side or the human condition. I want to show how one feels, the emotional side of who we are, which is what all my photography is about, how we exist on this planet.
The starting point was to lightly reference them to the renaissance belief that white equated to purity. People bleached their skin white to appear pure.
How do you work with your models and subjects?
When I work with a subject, whether it is landscape or nudes, I'm in a relationship with whatever's in front of me. Somebody might do something that I like or reminds me of something else. It might remind me of a painting that I've seen or a memory that brings me to another thought. It all just unfolds, really, from both of you. I keep an atmosphere in the studio that is conjured for a person to feel whatever they like.
How did living in South Africa affect your work, if it did at all?
I think it did. I've always been interested in the edges of things, exposing the edges. And I think its got to do something with South Africa and the aggressiveness there and not feeling at home there. But I almost seem to be myself when I'm on the fringe. So that's why I'm very interested in the 'look away'.