Beauty’s Nothing

4 October – 9 November 2002

Acte 2 Gallery
411 Rue d’Artois
75008 Paris

Rebel Magazine. No 4. To Be An Island by Benicio del Toro

Benicio del Toro is an actor. Nadav Kander is a photographer. The first speaks about the second in such flattering terms that it seems incredible these two men don't have points in common. Solitary friends.

As strange as it may seem, I only vaguely remember the day when Nadav and I met. It was one or two years ago, during a photo shoot for Black Book magazine. What I remember of this first meeting is his way of working. Does work improve a first meeting? Absolutely. He took a close–up of my face, like a passport photo. Then we went out together. He often puts his subject in another setting, wanting to capture their humanity in a wide open space. So wide that at one point I wondered who the subject was, me or the parking lot? What strikes me most about his work in his sense of space, this troubling notion of being an integral part of the landscape. Isolation. To be an island. I also get the same feeling when I'm on location for a film; the ambient noise and the incessant commotion don't stop me from feeling alone. There is you and there is everybody else. Sometimes I feel like I'm looking at myself in his photos. They remind me of the first time I came to California – the wide open spaces, the desert and the sky stretching to infinity.

The feeling of insularity in Nadav's work is far from being depressing; it is beautiful and full of hope. We often talk about photography. About Weege, Eggleston, Danny Line. I like his photos taken from the Santa Monica pier in LA. They capture the ocean's ferocity but also its peaceful side. Really intense pictures where the ocean turns blue and green and the sky turns jet black. Impressive. I don't know most of the locations where he takes his photos, so I can only imagine them. Do they seem real? Nadav paints with his eyes. Photos that look like paintings.