|Michael curled away by Nadav Kander|
I was very fortunate indeed to have been invited last night to the Private View of the latest exhbition by Nadav Kander, "Bodies. 6 Women, 1 Man" at Flowers Gallery, Cork Street. I was worried in case my Parkinson's had a detrimental effect which it has been prone to do recently when I have been attending functions of this kind. I don't know the reason for this but perhaps it is nervousness or just timing so far as taking the pills is concerned. However, as I turned into Old Bond Street, I could feel that spring in my step which told me that I was going to be ok.
Of course, the Gallery was packed but not so much that one couldn't see the wonderful photographs. And, dear readers, they are full of wonder. They were also beautifully lit which accentuated their almost ghostly appearance but these are warm blooded human beings painted with white marble dust and lovingly photographed by a master. They are certainly bodies but their beauteous shape seduces you not by sexuality but by Nadav's eye which has looked over every part of each body and has managed to reconstitute that concentrated gaze onto the image.
I walked past four of the photographs and each one gently unfolded before me as I stopped and allowed the magic to work. When I am feeling good, it is easy to forget that I'm ill but nevertheless I felt a great deal of empathy with these figures some of whose heads were turned away hiding perhaps a feeling of vulnerability but still brave enough to expose other parts of themselves. Of course, with so many people there, it was difficult to have a really good look so I am going to return on another day. I thought about writing a piece on my blog as I left and determined to delay doing so until I had had a better look. But I couldn't wait and I wanted to convey something of what it is like to look upon this fabulous work for the first time.
Elizabeth with hand on shoulders by Nadav Kander
I turned away from the simple beauty of "Elizabeth with hand on shoulders" and a pretty woman came up to me with a lovely smile and said. "Hello, Tim!" For a few seconds, I didn't recognise her but then she reminded me (just as my addled brain was working it out for itself) that she was Christina Theisen whom I had met in late summer when she was assisting on my second shoot with Jillian Edelstein. We hugged and kissed and she introduced me to her handsome companion, Alexandros Vasmoulakis, and we all enthused about the photographs. Christina knew Nadav and kindly introduced me to his First Assistant, Felicity McCabe, a very nice woman whom in turn introduced me to Nadav's Studio Manager, the delightful Zoe Tomlinson, whom I had been emailing over the years with plaintive requests for Nadav to photograph me. I enjoyed my brief chat with Felicity who confirmed what I had already gathered from various people who had worked with Nadav, that he was a charming man of great humility. And it is that humility which shines out like a beacon from this work. This is all about the people he was shooting - it comes down to that simple fact. Often, I look at a great picture and, although I could speak at length about the lighting, the composition, the inner meaning, invariably it is nothing more than what you see. A body. A person. A human shape. Simple but dripping with the emotion, the passion and the loving care of the man behind the camera - Nadav Kander.
Now THAT is why I would love to be photographed by him.
I had to leave and said my goodbyes to Christina and Alexandros as well as Stacey Hatfield but then I wormed my way over to Nadav and introduced myself. Of course, he was charming and afterwards a little cloud bore me down Oxford Street to the Underground as I called Jane and told her that I was on my way home and what had happened the night I saw "Bodies. 6 Women, 1 Man".
"Did my heart love till now?Forswear it, sight,
For I ne'er saw true beauty till this night."