Saturday, April 18, 2009

Corey Arnold's Sea

Corey Arnold
"Gulf Crossing, Bering Sea, Alaska"
Chromira C-print

Curiously, Sara Tecchia Roma's press release for Corey Arnold's solo exhibition, "Fish Work," describes the artist as "an Alaskan crab fisherman animated by a life long artistic project." I wonder, does Arnold identify as a fisherman first and a photographer second? Or perhaps the two occupations are inextricably tangled? Whichever designation Arnold prefers, his pictures evidence a daring spirit - an attribute I associate with Bering Sea fisherman, but rarely with fine art photographers - and an expert eye.

Arnold's photographs capture northern ocean landscapes and document the lives of men that harvest its depths. Most of his working fishermen pictures are handsome records of an uncommon life style, but they are undistinguished as works of art. Not so for Arnold's strongest images; when the photographer turns his lens on the water, he provides viewers with a glimpse of sublime wonder. His pictures humble us.

As the gallery press release states, viewers are reminded "not only of the beauty but also of the undeniable power that Nature holds against mankind." I'd amend that statement slightly. Nature doesn't work against mankind; its staggering violence is ambivalent, and humanity is a vital part of it.

Corey Arnold
"Bering Sea Birthday, Bering Sea, Alaska"
Chromira C-print

1 comment:

Donald Frazell said...

Yeah, love the top shot, the sea welling up in a huge uprising of matter and energy. Alive. Threatening. But impartial. The bottom is OK, but more a National Georgraphic or History Channel shot.