11.05.2013

Portfolio: Natan Dvir, "Sandy Now and Then"

© Natan Dvir/Polaris, Breezy Point, Queens, November 04, 2012


© Natan Dvir/Polaris for weather.com, Breezy Point, Queens, October 15, 2013

Natan Dvir was recently commissioned by The Weather Channel along with two other photographers to rephotograph places that they originally photographed a year ago in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.

We republish a selection of the images here today along with a Q&A with Dvir. The Weather Channel post with the full series of his images can be found here. Dvir's images of Sandy are also currently featured in the exhibition "Rising Waters: Photographs of Sandy" at the Museum of the City of New York.
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fototazo: At what point and why did you decide to return to these locations to take the second images?

Natan Dvir: I actually was thinking about doing so since September and started planning it. When The Weather Channel called and commissioned the work I was naturally very happy to accept the assignment. After a short correspondence we saw that we were on the same page and they gave me artistic freedom as long as I give them enough material to chose from. It was important for me to return to all five areas I photographed a year ago and see what has changed.

f: What does pairing the images do in terms of creating content as you think about the work? How does it talk about the what happened during the hurricane and in the subsequent year?

ND: The pairing of the image is a visual document that invites investigation of the immediate and long-term effects of such a natural disaster. While it was important for me that each picture stands by it's own in terms of its quality, they make sense to me only as pairs. I was happy to find some areas recovering relatively well from the effects of the storm and was saddened to see the long-term devastation in some areas. You suddenly feel the aftermath not only in terms of financial numbers and property lost/recovered. You start understanding the human trauma and it's effect, the crumbling of communities, the way that many lives have changed dramatically after that night last year.

f: How does working in relationship to tragedy affect how you think about making images and how you approached making this work?

ND: Two things that I strongly believe in are that as a documentary photographer you have to be genuinely interested in the people you photograph and really respect them. These two principles are emphasized when photographing tragic situations. Some photographers say that the camera sometimes helps them keep it together emotionally when photographing hard subjects. I can understand where they are coming from and felt so myself at times, but recently I feel the camera is actually getting me closer to those tragedies and allows me to understand them better. Hopefully this results in being able to tell the stories of those people better.

© Natan Dvir/Polaris, The Battery Park Underpass, Downtown Manhattan, October 30, 2012


© Natan Dvir/Polaris for weather.com, The Battery Park Underpass, Downtown Manhattan, October 16, 2013


© Natan Dvir/Polaris, Beach 119th Street, Rockaway, Queens, November 04, 2012


© Natan Dvir/Polaris for weather.com, Beach 119th Street, Rockaway, Queens, October 14, 2013


© Natan Dvir/Polaris, Battery Gardens Restaurant, Downtown Manhattan, October 30, 2012


© Natan Dvir/Polaris for weather.com, Battery Gardens Restaurant, Downtown Manhattan, October 15, 2013


© Natan Dvir/Polaris, Andrezeg and Lydia Rozoszak next to their home, Midland Beach, Staten Island, November 2, 2012


© Natan Dvir/Polaris for weather.com, Andrezeg and Lydia Rozoszak next to their home, Midland Beach, Staten Island, October 09, 2013


© Natan Dvir/Polaris, Midland Beach, Staten Island, November 2, 2012


© Natan Dvir/Polaris for weather.com, Midland Beach, Staten Island, October 09, 2013


© Natan Dvir/Polaris, Breezy Point, Queens, November 04, 2012


© Natan Dvir/Polaris for weather.com, Breezy Point, Queens, October 15, 2013


© Natan Dvir/Polaris, Beach 94 Street, Rockaway, Queens, November 04, 2012


© Natan Dvir/Polaris for weather.com, Beach 94 Street, Rockaway, Queens, October 14, 2013


© Natan Dvir/Polaris, Midland Beach, Staten Island, November 2, 2012


© Natan Dvir/Polaris for weather.com, Midland Beach, Staten Island, October 09, 2013

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Natan Dvir (b. 1972, Nahariya) is an Israeli photographer who focuses on the human aspects of political, social and cultural issues. He received his MBA from Tel Aviv University and his MFA in Photography from the School of Visual Arts (NY), after which he became a faculty member at the International Center for Photography (ICP).

Based in New York City he photographs around the world represented by Polaris Images photo agency and Anastasia Photo gallery. Natan’s main projects have been exhibited in many solo and group exhibitions in the United States, Europe, South America and Israel including the Museum of Fine Arts (Houston), Portland Art Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art (Cleveland), Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Blenton Museum of Art (Austin), and the Southeast Museum of Photography (Daytona).

Natan’s work has been published by leading international magazines including The New York Times, Newsweek, Wall Street Journal, The Times, Daily Mail, Le Monde, and Le Figaro among others. His work has received recognition wining prizes around the world including the Picture of the Year (POYi), PDN Photo Annual, American Photography, International Photography Award (IPA), New York Photography Festival Award, Critical Mass Top 50, Black & White Spider Award, and the Picture of the Year Award in the Israeli press.