Ari Gabel is a working photographer whose main concentration deals with the documentation of the vanishing faces and stories held within countless individuals across the American landscape. Born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, Ari Gabel nurtured the ability and importance of photography into a lifelong passion of his, which came to fruition during his four years at the Ringling College of Art and Design. His work is both a balance of research and shear instinct, allowing him to explore the environment around him and establish a common understanding of the land. His use of analog cameras is not due to the rarity of it’s existence in modern times, but for the quality it posses and the personable connection it creates with the subject.
Good River documents life in the Ohio River Valley. I set out to document an area of the country that has gone through significant cultural and socioeconomic change. This is a part of the U.S. where individuals’ collective livelihoods and lifestyles have been, and are, currently dependent upon certain industries–particularly coalmining. Generations of Appalachians committed their lives and passed on an “identity” of working in the mines, becoming culturally bound to the coal industry. As the nation began to look at alternatives to coal as a resource for fuelling cities and towns, the nation forgot the people who dedicated themselves for generations to the industry. These people were, and still realistically are, unequipped for a different way of life. My goal with this project is to document these stories in an unbiased manner, and in doing so, breakdown preconceived notions about who they are as humans.
To view more of Ari’s work please visit his website.