PHOTOGRAPHY OF HARIS NUKEM
Daigle writes about the arts and lifetyle at www.514blog.com
fashion designer, part comic book aficionado, Haris
Nukem is one of the most imaginative and evocative
photographers to emerge in recent years. Influenced by the renaissance
artist Caravaggio, his work is said to be a passionate study of
the human spirit in the 21st century. He loves fairy tales, mythology,
rebels, freckles, tattoos, body hair and granular textures. He
was born in 1989 in Bosnia, which was then still part of Yugoslavia,
and left as a political refugee to United Kingdom which granted
him asylum. He
said in a an interview that Croatia is still his favourite place
on earth, and that the cobbled medieval art district of Rovinj
is his favorite art center: “I love to see people making
what they can with what they have. That spirit of creation runs
up, he used to watch Jay-Z, Gary Vee, Tony Robbins and Nipsey
Hussle’s interviews. They gave him the push to dedicate
himself to visual art.
in his career Nuke worked as a photographer for record labels
and artists such as Defected Records, IAMDDB, Dennis Sultan, Badass
B and Jordan Stephens.
said that David Fincher shaped his outlook on color and image
and that he wanted to create that same level of communication:
“but just concentrating on performance, depth and color.
Some things require lots of pre-production but most of my work
happens quite naturally.”
Art and Dark Beauty Portrait Photography (2018) turned Nuke
into a household name. Inspired by the book Tribe by Sebastian
Junker, his photos feature tribal piercings and tattoos, the first
effect of which is to highlight natural indigenous beauty while
revealing how unfounded is western dismissal of the African cultural
upon hedonism, online trolls, social media, fame and the fragility
of public services, “Faith”(2019) propelled Nuke towards
a global audience. Exhibited in London’s Shoo, it explores
the concept of moral and spiritual conviction and what the meaning
of faith signifies in the interconnected world we live in. Though
spiritual iconography and mythic narratives Nuke’s photography
juxtaposes romantic and classical imagery with a socially conscious,
urban aesthetic. He said: “In our increasingly secular world,
‘faith’ is an exploration of the pockets in which
to place our beliefs.” His models are often portrayed as
heroes and gods, biblical and mythological icons inside of contemporary
of the exhibition was to “pay what you can afford,”
where all the proceeds went towards the charity Help Refugees.
Nuke’s two main art dealers are Maddox Gallery and Woodbury
House and his unique pieces can be found and sold on Art net.
said in a Lowdown Magazine interview that the most important
thing for him is to make sure a photograph has a strong intention
and connects with the audience. His work happens quite naturally,
without much need for a high level of pre-production. However
he spends most of his time building relationships with his models
to get to know them better. For
example, one of his models named Kiki was born in Nigeria and
escaped a life of child slavery by emigrating to the United Kingdom.
She has started a new life by becoming a dancer. In one of her
photographs, she is dressed in her native Nigerian finery worn
by West African Queens, while raising a teacup demonstrating her
new British life. The compelling contrast between these two cultures
can be seen below to the right.
has also recently published his first hard-copy book Ten Days
at the Mandrake (2020), where his photographic work is listed
as a time capsule. The book is accompanied with poetry written
by Charlotte Rose. The book includes 36 photo-stories shot at
the London Hotel, with every new page telling a new story and
theme: religion, death, belonging, madness etc. Another one of
Nuke’s recent projects was a solo show called “Humans”
at London’s NR Project Art spaces in summer 2019. The show
focused the beauty that emerges when individuals are willing to
free themselves from society’s norms.
artist has had an impressive beginning to his career. In just
five short years, Nuke has become one of the United Kingdom’s
most highly admired contemporary artists. Many articles and applications
have recognized his achievements and have shared his artwork.
Applications such as Interest and websites such as Art net have
highlighted Harris Nuke’s talent by sharing his artwork
pieces. His photographs start conversations, and give people access
to a world that isn’t theirs.