Nino Herman’s photographs displayed in the series Notes from Tel Aviv look like scenes taken out of a movie whose director pays attention to the most minute of screenplay details. In fact, without the photographer’s slightest intervention, they document a fascinating human mosaic of beautiful, young people, fashionable Tel Aviv hipsters and party lovers, alongside foreign workers, peddlers, refugees, drug addicts and others from the margins of society. All of these are set in the narrow, dusty, somewhat neglected streets of South Tel Aviv. These are captured moments of human intimacy, fragments of encounters between people and their surroundings.
The photographs radiate so much love and warmth that cross the boundaries of ethnicity, geography, religion and social strata. Through Herman’s lens, the illusion that all humans are equal takes real form. Or as the photographer will tell you: “I believe photography is just like life – you create the reality of your life in the deepest sense”. His images look reality in the eye, never condescending, patronizing, or judgmental. The life stories staring back at you evoke sympathy, smiles, joy and often compassion.
To a great extent, this series tells the story of Tel Aviv as a diverse metropolitan city; a dynamic hub of accelerated urbanization that pushes social margins to the periphery. Through the visuals, South Tel Aviv is the sum of all relationships between those who have made it their home and workplace, and the eye-pleasing, eclectic color and vibrancy offered by its magnificent setting.
Written by Tamar Eisen Goldstein
Tamar Eisen Goldstein is a writer specialized in photography.
Nino Herman, Notes from Tel Aviv