Artist Spotlight: Adi Nes
BY Christopher Harrity
June 07 2014 4:00 AM ET
Adi Nes's work is not unfamiliar, especially his series on Israeli soldiers. Seeing a selection of images representing more than one of his series is a pleasure. Being able to see the connections between them and the strong themes that thread them together makes a bigger statement. The photographs delicately tease out the natural homoerotic elements in very masculine, mostly male societies.
Adi Nes stands out as one of the most important art photographers in Israel. Through 20 years of activity, his artwork has been groundbreaking, while clearly presenting the multilayered complexities of Israeli identity.
Central themes in Adi Nes’s photographs deal with the issues of Israeli identity and masculinity. His works wrestle with social and political questions revolving around gender, the center versus the periphery, Eastern versus Western cultures, ethnic issues, Judaism, local myths, militarism, humanism, and social justice.
From the Biblical series (Cain & Abel)
This series of 14 photographs is the fruit of four years’ labor between 2004 and 2007. It is inspired by different Bible stories, by canonical creations of great classical artists such as Caravaggio, Rubens, and Rembrandt, and by iconic images from the history of photography and from contemporary photography. What all the chosen biblical images have in common is their loss of hom /place; thus Nes utilizes images of homeless street people who have found themselves on the fringes of society and presents biblical heroes during the low points of their lives. By connecting identityless homeless with the mythical foundations of biblical stories, Nes juxtaposes contemporary Israeli reality with the history and mythos of the Chosen People.
From the Biblical series (David & Jonathan)