Ariel Kessler has exhibited her work in many parts of the United States, including Massachusetts, Vermont, Illinois, Colorado, Texas, Virginia, New York, Washington, California, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, and internationally in Mexico.
She was a finalist for Photographer’s Forum Best of College Photography in 2010 and has received honorable mention for Women in Photography International in 2009.
At a young age Ariel developed a fondness for photography, building her first dark room at twelve years old. Using her late father’s Nikon F, she took photographs wherever she went. At eighteen, she moved to New York to attend the School of Visual Arts. There she became enraptured with small camera, street-like photography. She would wake up at 4 AM to photograph in New York’s parks where she could find a diverse population of people juxtaposed with the composition of the New York cityscape. After two years of focusing on this style, she moved back to her hometown of Boston to attend the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, where she was mentored by some of the masters of the view camera and was given the opportunity to work with the Polaroid 20x24 camera.
During this time she learned to slow down her process and began to focus on large format photographs. She used this technique as she documented her response to her father’s passing in 1999 when she was eleven years old. The product is a series entitled Hour of Lead that was completed in 2010. Hour of Lead explores themes of revolving nostalgia and grief by pairing her father’s photographs, selected by Ariel from amongst those taken throughout his life, and her own that she had taken in response to his. The conversation between these photos displays fragmented memories and the effects of loss. A limited edition book for Hour of Lead was published by John Steck Jr. of the Make Book Blog in 2010. Before graduating in 2010 with her BFA, Ariel went to Santa Fe, New Mexico to study with the masters of alternative process photography. Her work is often described as quiet, haunting, intimate and somber, and is often compared to 20th and 21st century photography.
Today, Ariel is living in Boston, Massachusetts and advocates traditional processes over digital imaging. She believes in the artist’s first-hand involvement in the process of art rather than staring at a computer screen. Getting your hands dirty is key in the making of art.
Please visit www.arielkessler.com to view a resume and for contact information.