B. 1980, Cleveland, Ohio
Erika Neola received her BFA in Film, Video and Photographic Arts from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 2005. After working as a photographer's assistant, helping to co-found Front Room Gallery, and touring with a double-dutch team, she relocated to Brooklyn, NY in 2008.
Erika established her career in post-production at Box Services as the Director of the Fine Art Printing Dept. During her nearly 8 years at Box, she printed numerous exhibitions and was involved in the production of fine-art photography books for some of the most influential photographers and artists in the industry including Philip-Lorcia diCorcia, Roni Horn and Annie Leibovitz.
After a short break as a freelance retoucher, she joined the team at Impact Digital as a Senior Post Production Manager in 2018. Her clients included Banana Republic, Universal Standard, MAC Cosmetics, Tom Ford Beauty, MILK Makeup, Justice, Victoria's Secret & many others. She is currently the Director of Post Production at JWALK.
Erika is also an avid runner/cyclist, and teaches indoor cycling at The Monster Cycle in NYC. She lives in Brooklyn, NY with her partner, Brenden Beecy, and their cat Toru. She can be found on instagram at @erikaneola and @witchontherun.
I have always been a photographer, even before I owned a camera; I have always searched for that one special moment to remember an interaction, event, or person. I was drawn to photography because of its duality: it has the ability to be an almost accurate depiction of reality, but it is always affected by the point of view of the photographer. Therefore, photographs are not, in the purest sense, truths, rather they are a skewed representation of truth through the eyes of the photographer. This is achieved by the choice in composition or a direct manipulation of the subject matter.
In addition, the subject is reduced by the transmission of the light to the film plane making every photograph a copy of reality. A print becomes a copy of a copy. And so on. The medium itself is a visual xerox. I feel drawn to both aspects of photography (the truth and non-truthiness of it) and strive for my work to express this duality.
I photograph the impact of human beings on their environments, almost exclusively without a human being in the frame. I am drawn to items that represent a time when hard work relied on hands and not machines: handpainted signs, clothes lines, old cars, etc. I am also fascinated with the more homogenized landscapes and interiors so many choose to call home. Like Ed Ruscha I catalog similar things, across different cities, states and countries.
Images will tell their own story, though I am aware that my representations can skew the "truth" of a place or situation. What do you bring to the image as a viewer that changes or impacts that "truth"?