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Adi Nes

Updated: Feb 13, 2019

Artist 40

Adi Nes Untitled (The Last Supper Before Going Out to Battle)

Adi Nes was born in Kiryat Gat. His parents are Jewish immigrants from Iran. He is openly gay.

He is an Israeli photographer explores identity, sexuality and conflict in a staged, polished style

Nes is notable for series "Soldiers", in which he mixes masculinity and homoerotic sexuality, depicting Israeli soldiers in a fragile way.

He creates cinematic images that reference war, sexuality, life, and death with the kind of stylised polish you might expect from a photographer whose images have appeared in the pages of Vogue.

His partially autobiographical work is deliberate and staged in an attempt to raise questions about sexuality, masculinity and identity in Israeli culture. “The beginning point of my art is who I am," he says. "Since I’m a man and I’m an Israeli, I deal with issues of identity with ‘Israeli-ness’ and masculinity, but my photographs are multi-layered.”

In 2005 Nes was chosen as an outstanding artist of the prestigious Israel Cultural Excellence Foundation.

He is actually one of the artists I used in my honours thesis for showing narrative and how layers of narrative create for a successful artwork with the example of the artwork ‘Untitled (The Last Supper Before Going Out to Battle)’

He recreates the famous ‘Last Supper’ with soldiers and reflects a fragility and finality of being in war and how being gay also marks you for potential betrayal like Judas hurt Jesus.

Nes’s photographs are reminiscent of Renaissance or Baroque paintings, often based on parables and collective cultural memory. Sexual tension is ever-present in Nes’ work, as he delves into complex explorations of homoeroticism. His goal is to reveal a universal humanism in his dramatic portraits.

Using layers is Photography to create for such deep symbolism is part of what I personally feel creates powerful photography.


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