Nir Arieli became a photographer in the Israeli military. Shooting on-the-go, he honed fine technical skills as he covered diverse subjects for the national magazine. When he took the leap to NYC to attend the School of Visual Arts, he was drawn to the dance community for inspiration and felt connected to the movement language he witnessed. As his network of dance collaborators developed so did a sense of balance in his images, bringing a new complexity to the traditionally "pretty" things he had always featured. From "Tension" to "Flocks" to flower headpieces, Nir discusses the worlds he explores with the movers that attract him. He shares how he keeps his creative process active and fresh. And, in the rapidly developing genre of dance documentation, Nir defends capturing concepts and feelings in new images rather than extracting moments meant to be in motion. 

In the past, most promotional images for dance were images from the piece onstage. I don’t think it’s fair for the dance to take a moment of it and put it on a poster because I feel like dance has a unique thing that happens on the stage. I would never try to make dance in my images. I am influenced by dance, I work with the community of dance, I use ideas of dance...but i’m not making dance. I think it’s really important to kind of, when we’re promoting dance, take ideas and concepts and feelings from the piece and create an image that represents them on a higher visual level.


Nir Arieli launched his career as a military photographer for the Israeli magazine Bamachane, before receiving a scholarship to pursue a BFA at New York’s School of Visual Arts; he graduated with honors. Nir's photographic passion is within the portraiture and dance fields. He is an admirer of gentleness, beauty that embodies a sense of conflict and physical intelligence.

Nir has won numerous scholarships and awards throughout his 13 years career. His work has been published, exhibited and collected internationally and his dance clients include the Juilliard School, The Alvin Ailey school, The Joyce Theater Foundation, Gallim Dance, MADboots Dance, Pontus Lidberg, Loni Landon and Jonah Bokaer. Nir's commercial clients include The School of Visual Arts, Time Out NY, Bloomingdales, CRCmedia, Blonde + Co and Craft & Root.

Nir is represented in NYC by Daniel Cooney Fine Art gallery and in Israel by Pinzeta initiative. His last solo show "Flocks" was on view at Daniel Cooney Fine Art gallery between April 21st and June 4th 2016.