Essay 394 • Jun 3rd 2019

“Gelly” is a series of portraits that I began in 2015, and is still a major work-in-progress. I have a huge appreciation for painted portraits, and because of that, my intention with my photography portraits is to emulate the type of artwork I would make if I were to ever paint. The portraits are bathed in vivid, saturated lighting. I draw inspiration from other color lighting enthusiasts David LaChapelle, Pari Dukovic, Maciek Jasik and Mamadi Doumbouya.


Joel Arbaje
I was born in the Dominican Republic and my family made their way to New York while i was still super young. I am a self-taught photographer, and began shooting by sneaking in a DSLR into concerts. Currently, I am a photo editor at Barron’s, a finance and business magazine. Prior to, I worked at Men’s Health and Fast Company Magazines. Being a photographer as well as an editor allows me to genuinely immerse myself in the entire process of photo-making. Im aware of all the magic and processes that are required to make a really successful and realistic image. Most of my work is made possible from the collaborate efforts of makeup artist Kathy Zikas, hair artist Janais Lopez, and the trust placed upon me by the subjects in my body of work to a really fun piece.
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Subjects: Chavi St.Hill, Alex Mugler, Umi Akiyoshi, Nereyda Bird, Hannah Woldetsadik, Sophia Spero, Prince Carneiro, Harrison Holloran, Leslie Xia, Ben Ra Wright, Amanda Lepore, and Noemi Dronet