Israel, with a Knowing Wink
There is no shortage of news photographers in Israel nor news for them to cover. There are so many, indeed, that they often have to work to keep other photographers out of their frames.
But Alex Levac, 67, is no longer among them. Instead, he wanders the streets of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem looking for the little moments — humorous, offbeat or ribald — that are his trademark.
“I really see myself as anthropologist of the street or a paparazzi of the anonymous,” he said. “I do not want to call myself a historian, but I want people to look at the pictures in 50 years and see something about Israeli society.”
In 1981, Mr. Levac became a staff photographer for the daily newspaper Hadashot. When it folded in 1993, he moved over to Ha’aretz. But he found news photography too predictable and covered it less and less over the years. Now he only does personal street photography for a weekly column in Ha’aretz in which he presents a single image reflecting the eccentricities and contradictions of Israeli life.
So what is an Alex Levac photo?
“Not just informative,” he said. “There has to be a little wink in it. It’s not very clear. You can decipher it in your own way. You can play with your imagination while you figure it out.”
[Above: Hebron, 2004]