Corey Arnold: Wildlife
A true adventurer at heart, Corey Arnold runs wild with the wolves, or so he would like. Corey has followed his curiosities, graduating from his youth, and continues to explore nature in all of its amazement. The places he has seen turn our concrete jungles and small town charm into boring shades of the same thing.
I remember the first time I saw Corey’s work up close. It was while working at the Haggerty Museum at Marquette University, and we had just hung his photograph, a giant wave. After staring at it for quite some time, I remember feeling scared yet content. As if the ocean would engulf me whole killing me violently, but thinking it was okay because at least it would be beautiful. All of Corey’s images shed the same amount of life.
Corey was given a solo exhibition at Charles A. Hartman Fine Art in Portland, Oregon. The show ends tomorrow, November 29th, so if you are in the Pacific Northwest be sure to check it out.
Corey Arnold is a photographer and Alaskan commercial fisherman. A graduate of the Academy of Art in San Francisco, Arnold lives and works in Portland, Oregon the nine months of the year that he is not fishing. His work has been exhibited in Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and New York as well as numerous other venues worldwide. His pictures have been featured in a number of publications including The Paris Review, The New Yorker, Artweek, American Photo, Juxtapoz, National Geographic, Rolling Stone, and Outside. Corey Arnold’s first monograph, Fish-Work: The Bering Sea, was published in 2011 by Nazraeli Press in association with Charles A. Hartman Fine Art.
By age eleven, I was ready to evacuate suburban life — accepting all the risks associated with living alone in the wild. I harbored an instinctual desire to connect with animals and live among them in nature. While I never actually raised myself with wolves, I was ready and didn’t have far to travel. The lush gully in my backyard beyond the thicket of poison oak was alive with coyotes, raccoons, possums, snakes, lizards, rats, birds, stray pets, and the unknown. An excessively curious child, I was a self-declared wildlife tracker, behaviorist and hunter who often pushed the boundaries of human/wild animal proximity. I had built a primitive fort out of plywood near the gully’s edge and would spend hours surveying the land for movement. Any bustling in the bushes were a potential prey to stalk or a mystery to unravel.
I wore a lot of camouflage those days and kept a bow and arrow by the back door in case a coyote appeared within close range. I’d lure raccoons into the house with trails of cat food and marvel at their hand-washing. For fun, I attempted to snare rabbits, torture snails, and commit other minor atrocities in the name of adolescent “science”. I competed alongside my dad in shark fishing tournaments, and helped rid the family avocado grove of squirrels and gophers with my bb gun. Meanwhile, I was a dedicated volunteer at Bob Farner’s Wildlife Rescue Center and helped save many animal lives. My three cats took turns sleeping on my face at night while I dreamt of swimming with pet dolphins and hunting exotic fish in distant seas.
Instincts that brought me closer to wildlife back then have remained strong through adulthood, but now a camera has replaced the bb gun. The photographs here, a selection that is part of an ongoing series, are an extension of my youthful obsession with animals. They capture fleeting encounters with wildlife, and curious situations I often find myself in during this lifelong pursuit to connect with, and better understand, the human/animal relationship in the modern world.
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