1. Nir Arieli spoke to BuzzFeed about his work in preparation for the show’s debut at the Daniel Clooney Fine Art Gallery in New York.
3. “To be a dancer is to work your body to the breaking point. In my project, the infrared technique that reveals the blemishes that lie under the dancer’s abused skin, like scars, stretch marks, sun damage, etc.”
5. “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.”
7. “I use this infrared technique to challenge the model’s beauty and find a greater intimacy. You are seeing what is already there but it reveals and emphasizes these marks.”
9. “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.”
11. “The dancers, with their callused exteriors and sensitive character, represent the tenuous relationship between the strength of the body and the fragility of the soul.”
13. “Using their body as an expressive tool, male dancers subvert the heteronormative idea of emotionally suppressed masculinity.”
15. “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.”
17. “I don’t dance at all. Not even at a party. I can’t do it and I find everything about it fascinating. I look at it like a child. I have a lot of appreciation for the kinds of artists they are.”
19. “Their physicality is intelligent and sophisticated. When we collaborate, they are always able to contribute something of their own to the process.”
21. “In my last project, Tension, I was interested in movement. For Inframen, I wanted to do something more personal for the dancers. This technology allowed me to look under their skin and that felt very personal to all involved.”
23. “The way that I work with models is not by talking a lot. I trust in intimacy. The process is technical, quiet and gentle. We photographed in weird places. Most of these are not studio shots. I was surprised it worked at all.”
25. “Sometimes we were in a dancer’s small apartment with a tiny window for light or in a hallway. And in these small spaces, I was surprised at how fast intimacy developed. They were being completely open.”
27. Inframen will be showing at the Daniel Clooney Gallery January 16 through March 8.
Saeed Jones is the literary editor for BuzzFeed and the author of the poetry collection Prelude to Bruise, and is based in New York.
Contact Saeed Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org