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Ira ‘Spider’ Leff

Artist Bio

Ira was born and raised in The Bronx, NY. A graduate of The Bronx High School of Science, and City College of New York. He is a retired middle school teacher who studied photography at the School of Visual Arts in NYC. He became an award winning photographer whose images grace the covers of numerous musical CD’s and have been displayed in both private and corporate collections nationwide.

Ira is a former member of the Soho Photo Gallery in NYC and currently a 25 year member of the Putnam Arts Council. He specializes in abstract-digital nature photography and happily resides in New Fairfield, Conn. with his life partner Mary, and their cool cat Budley.

“Once in a while, you get shown the light
In the strangest of places if you look at it right”
~Scarlet Begonias ~ The Grateful Dead

Artist Statement

My journey as a photographer/artist has been a progressive, as well as an evolutionary process. I was always fascinated by the unique capability of a photograph to freeze life’s reality, and capture that elusive moment in time, thus enabling us to inspect that moment in detail, and at our leisure. Nothing else has the ability to do that. I was drawn to photographing the wonders of Nature in all its beauty, symmetry, and scale. There is grandeur and beauty in both the Grand Canyon and the inner petals of an Iris. Natural designs, large and small, can be awe inspiring. I always felt that ‘Mother Nature’ was consistently producing art, and that I was but her humble framer.

Over the years, my niche became abstract nature photography, primarily in the form of water reflections. I found water to be an intriguing canvas, wherein each image is unique in it’s shapes, forms, and patterns. Many of my photographs took on the appearance of impressionistic paintings, others, more like the abstractions of Jackson Pollack. Still more, were a cornucopia of reflective colors and patterns. This would be the foundation for my artistic evolution into the creation of photo/digital imagery. The catalyst for that artistic leap was a young man by the name of Joe Cappella. He introduced me to, and mentored me, in the use of a variety of digital photo-editing programs, tools, and filters. Thanks to him, and the application of these editing programs, I developed the skills of photographic transformation. A metamorphosis of basic forms in nature took place right before my eyes; the art of transforming rather mundane photos of natural elements and patterns, from such subjects as clouds, trees, water, fire, and ice, emerged into compelling, fascinating, and other-worldy, abstract digital imagery. I hope to continue to create this style of transformative artwork, for I believe that it is fun, as well as thought provoking, and unique…”Sui generis”.

My portfolio is large and diverse. The images featured below are just a few examples of my recent work: ‘Fountain of Life’ is made from a patch of ice on my driveway. ‘Heaven’s Gate’ is from clouds floating overhead. ‘Power Surge’ is from a backyard bonfire. ‘Roll Away the Dew’ was inspired by a dewdrop-laden spider web, and ‘Woman of the Woodlands’ is a composition of trees across the street from my home. Art is alive, it is universal, and it is everywhere. I sincerely hope you appreciate and enjoy my creative visions of Nature.

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