10 Questions With Nir Arieli

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What does art mean to you?

“Art is my access to intimate moments with strangers, art allows me to experience beauty.”

What is your background, what is your story?

“I grew up knowing that I’d make art one day. In my teenage years I experienced with different mediums. When I was 18 I was drafted to the Israeli military in which I served as a military photographer for three years. I gained my BFA from SVA and my first solo show will open on January 16th 2014 at Daniel Cooney Fine Art gallery in Chelsea, NYC.”

What inspired your works?

“I’m an observer. I consume sights and ideas all the time but I’m also surrounded by talented people. I have friends who are amazing directors, dancers, designers, painters, musicians… And I got great education that led me to follow the work of great photographers, some of them have been around for a while and some are making their way up right now which is very exciting.”

How do you feel when you are creating? How do you feel when you have finished a piece?

“Creating is not a choice for me. I find myself doing it and it feels like a great mission that I have to fulfill in this life. I can’t say that it comes out of me easily, I spend a lot of time thinking about it and questioning the ways I do things. However, when I’m finished with a piece I feel great catharsis. Creating can change my mental state drastically. I feel very lucky that I can utilize it in that sense.”

What are you trying to communicate with your art?

“I never have a clear message that I’m trying to deliver, I think it will fail the art if I did. I believe that the admiration I have for my subjects and the field I’m working within (dance) are communicated to the viewers. However, the specific ideas I have are not and should not be expressed. I hope that my work evokes just a flavor, a beginning of an ideas that the viewer is able to expand on, and take it to their own path.”

What medium do you gravitate towards and why?

“I married photography in the military and even though I’m flirting with other mediums, like video, once and a while, I truly think we will never bore out each other. I’m not sure why but nothing else I’ve tried felt so right and allowed me to connect to people at the level photography does. We simply understand each other.”

How do you feel when people misinterpret your work?

“I don’t know if I believe in misinterpretation. I mean, of course I’ve seen headlines in the press that aggravated me and comments I disagreed with but at the same time I realized why it is important to open these ideas to discussion. I don’t think any reaction that the work evokes is wrong or bad.”

What advice do you have for other artists?

“I feel like I’m too young to give advices but if I have to, I’d say that it’s always good to be full of doubts and hesitations but you have to keep on going. Creating is a state of being, it’s dangerous to step out of the cycle because you or anyone else don’t have faith. Stop when it’s doing you bad, if you’re thinking of an outcome instead of a process then your thoughts are navigated towards the wrong direction.”

If today was your last day, what do you want people to know about you and your works?

“I don’t know if it’s important that people know anything about me, but I do want and hope that the work gets to as many eyes and touch as many hearts as possible. I’d say that even if it’s not my last day, I think it is every artist’s wish. In a sense, any work of art has the possibility to become immortal and that what makes it so much stronger than us.”

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