A man turns his back from us as a shadow brushes over his shoulder. A woman bends her back and legs, contorting herself like pretzel. Packed with extreme chiaroscuro, light and shadow angle themselves on the curve of every breast, leg, arm and waist. Set against a black background, it invokes a sense of mystery. Imagine if Helmut Newton shut the lights off and started taking photos in the dark.
Danel Photography, Body Eclypse study 4, (2016), Hahnemuehle Fine Art, Daniel photography 350 gsm paper 22 × 17 in
Although the late great Newton may no longer be alive, the photographer behind the magic of photos is no other than Eyal Dan (a.k.a. Danel Photography). Inspired by gymnastics, Dan’s style of photography centers around the movement of the human body. Works such as Body Eclipse Study 2 and Primal Landscape Study 1 exemplify the capabilities of the limitlessness of movement. Like Newton, Dan chooses to present the body at its finest; however, he intentionally distances himself from the famed photographer and so many other of his ilk (e.g. Annie Leibovitz).
As Leibovitz and Newton simply present the sitter’s identity, Dan doesn’t show the face of the sitter. Given that we, as the viewer, are accustomed to seeing the faces and feeling the personalities of the sitter, Dan flips the script by leaving out all traces of human identity. That includes facial emotions and all indicators that give away an individualized story such as a house or a hotel. Without a tangible setting or identity, Dan’s purpose as a photographer is to show, not tell.
Despite the fact that Dan himself is not featured in any top-tier magazine, each photograph feels like an editorial. In place of an existing story, we, as viewers, can draw conclusions and make a story that fits our imagination. It is no secret that Dan’s art invites an open-ended mind.
Previously spotted at the Clio Art Fair and currently on display at the Alessandro Berni Gallery on Artsy, Dan is the artist to watch for.
Check out his work on Artsy.net, DanelPhotography.com and/or Instagram.