Award winning Israeli photographer Ron Kedmi talks to VAMP about music, shadows, rhythm, and constant thoughts
Photography: Ron Kedmi
How long have you been taking photographs, and was your career always going to be photography centred?
I ended up in photography, but I initiated my journey in the visual world through the study of fine arts at École des Beaux-Arts in Paris and Cinema Studies in Tel Aviv. Photography has always been the centre of my career, but in the last 26 years, I have been photographing, directing, and creating fashion photography, campaigns, commercials, music video and art expositions.
In recent years I have expanded my creative area to begin designing and planning spaces – the loft I built in Jaffa is one of them. In addition to photographing, I believe that I will continue to explore and invest my time in design and architecture projects. Right now I’m working on the designing and planning of the Greek Islands Resort Lefkada.
What do you like to photograph the most, and how do you like to shoot it?
I mostly like to photograph people. In my work I examine the relationship between fashion and art. I work through my subject’s intimacy and sense of security. I push them and myself to break through boundaries and examine the body as a machine of erotic passion; a conductor of gender and fluid sexuality as a platform to identify variable. This can happen anywhere – whether it’s an intimate studio space or a location with a set and lighting – I create a stage for the occurrence that I want.
Do you agree that the media industry is undergoing a regrouping of sorts, whereby the concept that sex sells is evolving into something deeper?
I definitely agree with the statement that sex and sexuality sells. When sex and gender are being questioned and redefined through media, pop culture and government, it seems like we use sex as a marketing tool to promote and provoke.
Today’s trend is all about the individual and the re-definition of us as humans. The deeper trend that I believe I’m part of is a trend that checks the female body / machine male erotic desire, conductor of gender and sexual mystic, and as a program to identify variable. Identity and uniqueness is what we are looking for today.
“When sex and gender are being questioned and redefined through media, pop culture and government, it seems like we use sex as a marketing tool to promote and provoke.”
Do you work in Tel Aviv mostly, or internationally? What is working in Tel Aviv like? Where is your favourite place to work?
My base is in Tel Aviv, but I have worked all over the fashion capitals, such as Milan, London, and New York. In the last decade I have focused on my personal work and held several solo exhibitions.
Tel Aviv is home; a lively little town where I find my inspiration sources like modern dance and music.
You have a whole room in your home dedicated to a beautiful drum set. Have you been playing the drums long? Is it a hobby or a co-vocation?
When we planned the new loft, it was clear that the Jaffa drums would have a proper place and be inspiring. Since my childhood I have dreamed of drums, and in recent years I have fulfilled my dream with two teachers. The drums are a hobby, but my main one is meditation… it’s like a massage for my brain. This is the place where everything is coordinated – music, shadows, rhythm, and constant thoughts.