52 by 52 9:40am, 23 August 2012
Challenge #52: Beauty's Nothing. Show me your take on this.
— Nadav Kander

Nadav adds...
“My first book was titled 'Beauty's Nothing', in it I showed loosely my views to challenge contemporary western perceptions of beauty. Is a crying child less beautiful than a smiling child.”

Beauty's Nothing

The publisher's description of Nadav Kander's first book 'Beauty's Nothing'

"Nadav Kander creates unfailingly beautiful photographs with the formal precision of a master photographer. But beauty is the beguiling lure for Kander's disconcerting explorations into representation through genre as diverse as portraiture, landscape, and still life.

He employs the seductive charm of aestheticism to expose our inconsistent response to the female nude, to probe questions of morality and desire in a series on Cuban prostitutes, and to manifest the fragile imbalances of the American landscape with its endlessly repeating artifice at the edge of vast emptiness."

View more of Nadav Kander's work >

As well as being a good place to connect with other members and share your initial reactions, thoughts about how to 'solve it' and any links you think might help the group, this can also be a good place to include any old photos you have that fit the challenge. We're looking forward to hearing your thoughts this week.

— 52 by 52 team
Mark W Russell Posted 6 years ago. Edited by Mark W Russell (moderator) 6 years ago
Nothing like finishing with a bang.

I saw an exhibition of Nadav Kinder's work at the Lowry in Salford, last year. It was a show of his portraits (see his web site). I was knocked out by the originality and power of his portraiture. I remember being very disappointed and even angry that there was not an exhibition catalogue, as I wanted to take something away, that allowed be to look at the pictures for longer. Instead I had to take the memories in my head.

I like his challenge, which I suppose is about "perceived beauty" which is influenced by our culture, the history of art, and in particular the impact of advertising, fashion and editorials, which flood into daily vision and environments.

I am looking forward to this and the inputs of the community.
bart1eby 6 years ago
"Beauty’s nothing
but the first touch of terror
we’re just able to endure
and we adore it so much
because it serenely
disdains to destroy us."
- Rilke

Nadav Kander is one of my absolute heroes so I've been looking forward to this one ever since David mentioned he was on board. So much so that once again I appear too have started a day too early...

la noia (iii)

la noia (ii)

la noia (i)

from the series "la noia"
~ Meredith ~ 6 years ago
Beautiful series Ben & she looks eerily like the second image shown above.
david_gillett 6 years ago
I'm a *huge* fan of Kandar's work too, he's become a master of so many genres and styles. He always seems to find a fresh take on a subject without resorting to novelty.

I'm very jealous Mark as I'm yet to see any of Nadav's portraiture in the flesh. I think your point about perceived beauty is a good one, the way in which our ideas of what constitutes physical beauty has shifted over the centuries has always intrigued me.

Stunning set Ben, the lighting is exceptional.

Folk House Course: #1 - Routine by david_gillett

#11 Weary by david_gillett

#17 Alt by david_gillett

#36 "To live long enough to see my grandaughter become a woman" by david_gillett

I find Kander's website slightly awkward to navigate, a huge body of his work is to be found here:
It has bigger images and I think a larger range of work.

There's a Paralympic torch event in Bath today, I'd love to take a quiet portrait of one of the athletes. To me they possess an indomitable spirit which has its own beauty.
Mark W Russell 6 years ago
An archive shot that takes Nadav at his word:-

Tears quarter
Palofperu PRO 6 years ago
From what I've read of an interview with Nadav Kander he suggests people could consider photographing beautifully that which they shy away from. Think I'll use that as a guiding principle on this 'Beauty is Nothing' brief but it might take some time.
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