Benjamin Kanarek
  • Introduction

  • CV

  • Exhibitions

  • Interviews

  • More contexts


A fleeting glance, the forbidden desire, the transience of physical closeness. In a singular way, Chinese director Wong Kar-Wai manages to translate the emotional states of his films’ tragic characters into an impressive total work of art.

Together with cameraman Peter Doyle, Wong creates worlds of images that burn themselves onto their viewers’ emotional memories. Remembering Wong’s haunting work In the Mood for Love (2000), it is above all the protagonists’ feelings, longings, and disappointments that leave behind a lasting impression as an overpowering amalgam of colors and sounds.

When Benjamin Kanarek revives these moments of tragic love of 1960s Hong Kong in his series “In the Mood,” he assumes Wong’s aesthetic cosmos without attempting to copy it. The series is eager to spark a dialogue with the observer’s memory. If it’s true that smells can awake memories from days long gone by, then Kanarek achieves that with his works’ sensual stimuli. Brilliant colors, the tactile nature of the surfaces, and the dramatic contrasts of light and shadow allow the compositions to relive the felt moments of Wong’s films. Kanarek’s works find very much their own paths to engendering an image of atmosphere in the observer.

The photographer translates the felt moments of stagnancy in the relationships between two people in the exposed faces of the portrayed pairs. They come across cold, almost as though wearing masks, yet they bear Wong’s figures’ tragedy properly. If transience is always at the heart of photography, then it is the memory of a futile love that Kanarek has preserved in these faces.

Horst Klöver


The Canadian, Benjamin Kanarek (*1950) is multi-talented. Whether working as a fashion photographer, a music video director or Lancome’s creative director, he always goes all out/the whole hog. From Icon to Vogue, Harper’s to Elle, Kanarek has published in all the major fashion and lifestyle magazines. From still-lives to celebrities, his work spans from the personal to the sensual conceptions of beauty, which he likes to celebrate with extravagant female models.  Kanarek happily labels himself a beauty photographer, beauty not being classical elegance, but an opulent and baroque zest for life, indulgence to the fullest.

Less is more? Really? Kanarek’s fiery photographs, foregoing no details, can only make you shake your head as they satisfactorily prove: More is more!

David Gärtner

1950born in Canada
fashion photographer since 20 years
lives and works in Paris

Exhibits (Selection)

3rd International Festival of Fashion Photography Cannes, France
La Santa Bac,  Barcelona, Spain
Canon Awards Exposition, Cannes, France
4th International Festival of Fashion Photography, Cannes, France


Interview "Mode and Music", Television France

Additional Information

Published in

Vogue Italy
Vogue Paris
Vogue S.A.
Elle (Spain, Portugal and Greece)
New York Daily News Fashion
Glamour (French)
Harpers (Italy)
Madame Figaro

Advertising for

LUX soap France (won "The Marie Claire" gold medal for best advert of the year)
Dayton Hudsons fashion catalogue with Elle MacPherson
Holt Renfrew
Les Nouvelles Galeries (France)
Galeries Lafayette
Le Bon Marché
Jean-Louis Scherrer
"DIM" world Clinique (coop ad)



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