I love a live show and I like making pretty pictures. As an editorial entertainment photographer for one of the country’s premier photo agencies, I have developed my own unique style of performance portraiture, be it musicians performing on stage, Mardi Gras Indians masking in the streets of New Orleans or Social Aid & Pleasure Club members parading on a Sunday afternoon.
My intention is to capture the energy—whether it’s the split second a beautiful stage light falls on the subject or the raw emotion emanating from the performer lost in a groove. Capturing that moment is what counts most. I am a fixture in night clubs and arenas, at music festivals and on red carpets, but I am also trusted backstage, during private recording sessions and at funerals to document intimate and candid moments. The camera is my instrument.
My work is regularly featured in a number of music publications and newspapers, including Rolling Stone, Billboard, Entertainment Weekly, Country Weekly, People, Time, and DownBeat, as well as the New York Times, USA Today, The Times-Picayune and The New Orleans Advocate newspapers. I am a staff photographer at the legendary Tipitina’s, UNO Lakefront Arena, and The Saenger Theatre. I have had works accepted into the Smithsonian’s Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans, Louisiana; the Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale, Mississippi; the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Museum in Cleveland, Ohio; and the George and Joyce Wein Jazz & Heritage Center in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Erika Goldring is a New Orleans artist living and working in the Freret neighborhood.
Questions & Answers
Describe your art in three words. Dynamic performance portraiture.
Describe yourself in one word. Strong.
What do you love the most about creating art in New Orleans? What particular part of your immediate environment, in your neighborhood specifically influences your work? Cultural diversity and activity. I live in the Freret Street Corridor. I have Mardi Gras Indians and musicians living within a block of my home but I'm also a hop, skip and a jump from St. Charles Avenue, restaurants, music venues, yoga studios, etc.
Describe your creative process. Are there any rituals or rites of passage you exercise before you begin a new piece?
I like some quiet time before I shoot so I can get focused. Spirituality is a very important part of who I am and how I live. I like to refer to it as "keeping my mind right," by being aware of my motives, intentions and affect. I pride myself on being able to move into the mix of what's going on without being intrusive or disturbing the process.
Where do you draw inspiration? Color and texture. I might think about the craftsmanship of a handmade item or the process of weaving or dyeing fabric.
Who are your artistic influences or gurus? The images of Herman Leonard and Greg Miles. I loved Herman's black and white images--it's why I started shooting. I love Greg's use of color. Simplicity and balance prevail in both photographer's work so you are forced to look at the expression of the subject, the emotion in their eyes.
I love what Natalie Chanin is doing in Florence, Alabama, with her clothing line, Alabama Chanin. She's committed to her community, sustainability and local traditions.
In New Orleans, art and music go hand in hand. What type of music, band or song lyric best describes your work? Lee Dorsey: "Everything I do gohn be funky from now on."
Where can we find you when you are not creating art? Hanging out with Ninja, my dog, working out or playing tennis.
What is your favorite time of day/day of the week/month of the year? Early in the morning or late at night. It's quiet. I can think without distractions.
What is something people don’t know about you? A fun fact. That I used to work with Native American artists--painters, potters, sculptors, jewelers.
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Where You Can Find My Work
All works listed online are available to be viewed at Where Y’Art Gallery by appointment.
The Ogden Museum of Art's Center for Southern Craft or By Appointment.