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Ariel Shelleg and the humanity he finds in instant photography

Nudity is the way to an individual’s soul. In conversation with Israeli photographer on the light as a ‘second skin’ suit

Photographer: Ariel Shelleg 

Models : Ido Levavi and Maya gottfried

headpiece designer : Gal Rivlin

The idea for the shoot

Being a fast thinker by nature – with a tendency to worry about things that haven’t happened yet – often leads me to ideas and topics such as this one. There’s a lot to talk about sustainable fashion in art nowadays but most of it revolves around current solutions and matters. How would sustainable fashion of today – combined with technology – can affect its presence in the future? Then I thought about light: an element which photography consists of and the only unlimited natural source we have and are able to harvest. What if in a thousand years from now we can turn it into a physical matter and use it even better and smarter? I wanted to emphasize and visualize the power of nature and the fact that we still lack the ability to fully harness it for our own good and for the planet’s good.

Lampoon Magazine: Ariel Shelleg artistic approach 

The first thing was to stick to minimalism as much as possible in order to enhance the light’s presence.

This means no clothes but since I wanted the approach to be futuristic, I decided to add 3D hand-printed accessories made from recycled plastic. This way I achieved a ‘human’ touch but still a strong presentation of the technical and political aspects of it. The second thing was to have the models address and ‘use’ the light rather than just being lit by it. The light was the center of attention and not a ‘hidden’ element as it usually is in photography.

My everyday work as a creative director around fashion and beauty is the main source of inspiration to this photoshoot. I do see a change over time when it comes to minimalism and sustainable materials but not enough. And since artistically nudity is the way to an individual’s soul I thought it would be interesting to imagine the light as a ‘second skin’ suit.

Ariel Shelleg photography

On a technical note – knowing that colored LED lights tend to create deep contrasts and high saturation, especially if pitch dark areas are present in the frame. I was looking for a suitable set of colors to represent the idea. Being an instant film artist who shoots expired films, I’ve adapted and welcomed the unknown long ago.

Since I don’t process my images and just scan them raw, I needed to use its qualities to my benefit in order to achieve the result I wanted. A Polaroid picture is like a painting. a one time instant moment, encapsulated in a physical item that cannot be replicated or manipulated. There’s something human, romantic and magical to it and I try to convey it in my art in order to touch people and give this medium the respect and place it deserves in fine art photography. My two naturalist models were the ideal couple to represent and express what I had in mind.

Ariel Shelleg

Born in 1986 in Israel, Ariel Shelleg is a producer, a director, and an editor of documentaries, television series and music videos among others, he has a counter-time career where the image is everything to him.

His ‘encounter’ with instant photography, wakes up a passion and a new source of work with the subconscious and the force that exerts in the day to day of the human being.

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