Nir Arieli is a young fine art photographer born in 1986 in Tel Aviv, Israel. He launched his career as a military photographer for the Israeli magazine Bamachane, before receiving a scholarship to pursue a BFA at New York’s School of Visual Arts where he graduated with honors. Nir’s photographic passion is within the portraiture and dance fields. He is an admirer of gentleness, beauty that embodies a sense of conflict and physical intelligence. He has won numerous photographic awards and his work is being published, collected and exhibited internationally. He currently lives and works in New York, USA.
In his own words*:
…The dancers, with their callused exterior and sensitive character, represent the tenuous relationship between the strength of the body and the fragility of the soul. Using their body as an expressive tool, male dancers subvert the heteronormative idea of emotionally suppressed masculinity. I deeply identify with this perception and it closely relates to how I experience my own masculinity. Our shared idea about gender roles is a generative force in the dialog between us and is threaded throughout the work.
While I identify with the gentleness dancers embody, their intense physicality is completely foreign and fascinating to me. By photographing them I both observe and choreograph their movement. The photo session with a dancer is very technical but extremely intimate. Receiving my directions, the dancer relinquishes his agency, placing his trust in me. This creates a momentary connection between us, an intimacy that dissolves when the image is captured.
For the dancers, this intimate connection is inseparable from their desire to perform. Motivated by the cathartic feeling of being observed and admired, the dancers act as if the camera is an audience. Even in something as simple as a portrait, their expressive qualities are evident. Being artists in their own right, the dancers filter my instructions through their physical vocabulary and personal sensibility…
*(from Nir’s INFRAMEN series statement on his Behance portfolio)
This is a sample of his work
All images © Nir Arieli