THE COURAGE TO TOUCH PEOPLE
My art deals with people: their existential situation, the conditions of their life, their feelings, and their relationships.
I am interested in exposing the vitality and mystery of life within everyone. To that end, I choose digital photography, direct and un-posed. I opt for wide-angle lenses, which by their nature shoot from close range.
Shooting at close range makes it possible to touch the beauty I see in everyone, the humanness within the diversity. For example, choosing to photograph in cafes on the city’s margins puts me in contact with a wide range of people.
In my photography, I address aspects of freedom, boundaries, authority, independence. This manifests itself both in my connection with the subjects, and the broad social context in which the nation's societal events unfold. What sets me apart is the courage to dare to open the heart and touch people and life from close up.
At the age of two I contracted polio, and alongside the disability, I chose the freedom to move. I believe that nothing but our conceptions and beliefs limit us.
That is what I teach, express in my art, images, writing, speech, and way of life.I bring my externally apparent disability to a deep connection within me to listening, sensitivity to the other, and the desire to have an impact.
- Nino Herman
portrait by Gil Shany
More About Me
I have been practicing photography my whole life. As a photographer for the Government Press Agency, I accompanied state leaders and documented their public lives as well as their privet ones. For the daily newspaper “Maariv”, I covered a wide range of themes within the Israeli day to day life.
In the early 80’s my wife and I were amongst the founding families of Nataf, a small village in the Judean Hills, west of Jerusalem. In those days construction was done slowly, but with a lot of persistence and enthusiasm by the evolving community. A tragedy struck the family when my son Yair was killed in 2000. His death made me question what others might have taken for granted. After the incident I did not photograph for over 10 years. I sought tranquility, and perhaps a reason to move on.
In the past few years I’ve been documenting the local community of Florentine, Tel Aviv. I find inspiration and charm in the simplest things in life. Photography embodies more than the final image. It is a platform to create, connect and develop a relationship of trust. The creative process is an influential tool which enables me to express a feeling, deliver an idea and reach all sorts of people. During the photographic process I ask for the subject’s trust. The precious time of loss of self consciousness is what I’m always thriving to capture. Only then the observer is able to share and fully experience these magical moments.
My photography blog, “Nino Herman: Spaces within the Heart”, allows me to maintain a constant dialogue with the world. It is an on-going exhibition which engages directly with the public, and promotes a dialogue to be developed. The blog constantly makes me realize that there is no day but today.