Inspired: Nir Arieli’s Infrared Photographs of Male Dancers

Sometimes, I feel like photography sees nothing out of ordinary, that if the lighting is right and you’re lucky enough, you could end up with something that feels surreal out of real life. Then, there are collections of photography, like Nir Arieli’s infrared portraits of male dancers, that make you question how accessible the truth of reality really is. In his project, the infrared technique reveals what lies underneath a dancer’s seemingly perfect facade, a history of scars, stretch marks and sun damage that is more real that what can be seen.

Inframen will be showing at the Daniel Clooney Gallery from January 16th through March 8th. If you’re lucky enough to be in New York then, you should indulge yourselves into this feast of interiority.


Arieli says, “It’s interesting to use this technique on dancers because they tend to look ‘perfect’ to the naked eye. They are in their early twenties; their bodies are shaped.”


“I use this infrared technique to challenge the model’s beauty and find a greater intimacy. You are seeing what is already but it reveals and emphasizes these marks… like a form of voyeurism, this photographic process strips away the dancer’s outer shell, exposing hidden flaws. In Inframen, the surface of the skin becomes a metaphor for the dancer’s interiority.”


This morning I had the privilege of running my fingers along Colin’s display of freckles on the tops of his shoulders, and it’s very him to have his imperfections out in the public to be seen by ordinary eyes. He’s transparent but not simple (and not complicated as he likes to remind me); he has nothing to hide because he thinks these marks create a fuller picture on a person’s soul. I wish that startups would stop advertising that their social networks allow for you to get personal with your friends; these platforms only act as filters in which we view our least authentic selves, the versions that we want to be known for while we ignore the imperfections that make us wholly human.

Karl Jung would have a thing or two to say about Facebook.

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