Male Beauty

Can Dancers Ever Stand Still? Nir Arieli's 'Inframen' Opens at Daniel Cooney Fine Art

In "Inframen," which opens on January 16 at Daniel Cooney Fine Art, photographer Nir Arieli explores issues of masculinity, the fragility of the human form, and the power of dancers.

Nir Arieli

Nir Arieli

Taner

In "Inframen," which opens on January 16 at Daniel Cooney Fine Art, photographer Nir Arieli explores issues of masculinity, the fragility of the human form, and the power of dancers. Arieli, 27, has taken portraits of male dancers using an infrared technique to "reveal blemishes that lie under the dancer's abused skin, like scars, stretch marks, sun damage." Here are some of the portraits from the show.

Nir Arieli

Devon

Arieli, who grew up in Israel and got his start as the photographer for the IDF's magazine Bamahane during his mandatory military service, is a self-described introvert, and finds that his work as a photographer allows him to connect through "alternative avenues of communication." With his camera, he sees himself achieving a level of intimacy with his subjects, who have lowered their guard and, perhaps unwittingly, let him in.

Nir Arieli

Nehemiah

Arieli enjoys photographing dancers, because to him they must balance their "callused exterior" and body strength with a "sensitive character" that must portray the "fragility of the soul." For Arieli, dancers, more than anyone else, are able to "subvert the heteronormative idea of emotionally supressed masculinity." This is an experience with which he deeply identifies.

Nir Arieli

Billy

In a past project, "Tension," Arieli focused on the movement of dancers. For "Inframen," Arieli wanted to slow things down a bit, taking a closer look at the individual performers beyond the strength and grace they outwardly display while on the stage.

Nir Arieli

Kyle

Arieli admits that the infrared is not exactly the most flattering look for the dancers. However, he argues it removes another layer between the subject and the photographer, and provides the added challenge of working to make them beautiful still.

Nir Arieli

Garth

As dancers are performers, they're quite expressive even when captured standing still. While working with them, Arieli says that, "being artists in their own right, the dancers filter my instructions through their physical vocabulary and personal sensibility."

Nir Arieli

Evan

The irony in photographing dancers, of course, is that dancers are constantly in motion, while the very nature of a photograph has time standing still. In his work, Arieli hopes to have tackled this conflict, and expose the movement that lies beneath the surface of these men.

Nir Arieli

Clinton

Nir Arieli's "Inframen" is on view at Daniel Cooney Fine Art in New York City from January 16 to March 8, 2014.