North Carolina-based artist showing his photography in Avon
AVON CO, Colorado
Name: Ari S. Friedlaender
Hometown: Beaufort, North Carolina
Date and time of show: Through the end of December
Participate in The Longevity Project
The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.
Location of Show: Loaded Joe’s, Avon
Name of show: Frost, feathers and fur
Artist reception: Jan. 2, 7 p.m.
Vail Daily: What does photography mean to you?
Ari Friedlaender: Photography really is a way to create a mood or elicit an emotional response from the viewer. I take photographs that create an emotional response for myself. I take photographs to show places and parts of the natural world that are meaningful to me and that I appreciate.
VD: When did you know that you wanted to be a photographer?
AF: To be honest, I don’t really think of myself as an artist at all. I am a scientist, and for me, knowledge and understanding is a means to conservation and preservation of the natural world. Taking photographs is a means for me to engage a broader group of people and connect with them about the things I see, that I study, and that I think are worth protecting and learning about.
VD: What inspires you to create? What kind of mood do you have to be in?
AF: All of my photographs are taken during my scientific trips and field research. The questions about how nature works, and learning about how different animals exist within their ecosystem, is what inspires me to learn, and I guess, therefore, to create photographs showing this.
VD: Why did you choose the medium that you work with, or did it choose you?
AF: Photography has always been part of my research in terms of taking pictures of individual animals we are working with to be able to follow them and recognize individuals over time. However, even if I wanted to, I have no other abilities in other artistic mediums.
VD: Describe your style.
AF: I can honestly say I have never thought about my work with reference to a style. I would call it nature and landscape photography from an ecologist/conservationist perspective.
VD: If you were to meet any artist, alive or dead, who would it be and why?
AF: I grew up around art museums and was always drawn to the works of George Stubbs. His work was really a combination of having studied the anatomy of different animals and showing them in ways and motions that accentuated their natural movements and activities. His ability to show action and emotion through movement is, to me, amazing.
VD: Do you own a favorite piece of art?
AF: I collect American art pottery, mostly from North Carolina, and have a favorite piece from the 1920s that has so many imperfections in the shape and glaze and fingerprints, and that you can’t help but see and feel how the artist interacted with and made the piece. I like being able to hold it and feel the weight and see the piece from different angles.
VD: Where do you sell your art?
AF: I try to do a handful of gallery shows a year around the country to be able to meet and interact with people who are not necessarily scientists and that think the same ways I do about many things. I think we all benefit by meeting people who have different ideas, skills, beliefs and values, and absorbing what it is that other people are drawn to, believe in, or are inspired by.