Aristo Risi is an ocean minded artist from Wollongong, Australia. He has a dream of one day living on a scientific research vessel chasing megafauna around the globe (I advise you to skip to the end for a summary, this is going to be long).

Naturally, Risi gained an interest in creative expression at a young age through the influence of an artist mother, grandmother and grandfather. Growing up surfing, it was only a matter of time that he would combine his love for the ocean and creativity to pursue a lifestyle filled with adventure.

But like everything in life, this requires money. So in the meantime, Aristo shoots in a variety of photographic and cinematic styles to pay the bills. His bread and butter comes from shooting crisp corporate portraits, awkward Vice-Chancellor morning teas, grungy music festivals, serious-academic-research-stuff for media publications, tasty food, love-is-in-the air wedding films and the odd look-at-me fashion shoots. The point is, Aristo has learnt in the modern age, you need to be able to adapt to a variety of media and mediums, or you may get bored, or left behind. If you haven’t grown bored yet, continue reading to delve into the life of Aristo Risi, otherwise, just skip to the bottom for a summary as already mentioned.

Graduating in 2015 from a Bachelor of Digital Media with an almost Distinction, Risi’s final major work consisted of a Multi-screen audio-visual installation, that explores the self through the sub-conscious mind. The installation was well received, being recommended by the director of DLux Media Arts in Sydney to exhibit the work at their next IS THIS ART? exhibition. You can see the documentation here.

Upon graduation, and growing tired of working in a sweaty kitchen, Aristo plunged himself into the world of freelancing and hasn’t looked back, except for a few times.

In 2016, he immediately froze his toes. He signed on to do a Masters of Journalism at the University of Technology, in hope of increasing his chances to “get a real job”. He lasted about 6 weeks before he realized he wasn’t cut out to be the next Buzzfeed Listical Mastermind (If you enjoy listicals, just skip to the bottom, in fact why are you still reading, I already told you to skip to the bottom, you’re wasting your time) and continued forward with his freelance career, only to turn his back on it again 6 months later.

In September 2016, Aristo put the camera down for a sabbatical in Thailand to pursue a life of whale shark swimming and turtle gazing. But not before a quick photographic exhibition showcasing his thoughts on life captured during the past 4 years of travel abroad, link here:

While in Thailand, he received certifications as a Rescue Diver, a Dive master, a PADI Dive Instructor and an Emergency First Response Instructor. In denial? Here is his PADI Professional number #389315. He even dipped his toes into the deep waters of Technical Diving, being awarded a TDI Sidemount, Advanced Nitrox and Decompression Procedures diver.

He claims on his very first 45m Technical dive during the first decompression stop, as he began his ascent, he was graced by a majestic whale shark that told him to go home and pursue marine conservation, who knows if this is the truth. He immediately fell in love with this encounter, and started to embark on his journey home to follow his passion for ocean conservation.

(Actually I tell it like this for the flow of the story, but I actually fell in love with ocean conservation during my divemaster whilst reading about the ocean environment and the effects of climate change, over fishing, shark finning, and plastic debris. This was then reinforced when our boat captain moored up next to a fishing vessel and traded a box of cookies for a dead black tip reef shark, right in front of the customers, right before we were about to go for a dive where we would not see a black tip reef shark).

After 7 months in Thailand teaching backpackers, families, children and doctors how to scubydive, it was hard to say goodbye to his small island home, but not before a quick one month surfing stop in Indonesia, where he subsequently had all of his camera gear and laptop stolen, losing almost all of his photographs from the previous 7 months.

Upon his return home, after acquiring some more tools of the trade, as well as his first underwater housing, he jumped right back into freelancing and simultaneously began working on his first ocean conservation exhibition, that came to life in the beginning of 2018. You can see it here and read about it here.

Want to know more? Ok, I will go on.

With focus a on photography and videography, Risi produces a style that has subdued tones of poetic and observational documentary. He experiments with stories, relations and explorations of the self and the other, within social, cultural and environmental constructs. He achieves this through the exploration of the organic environment above and below the sea to create works that can be presented in different forms such as photographic series, documentaries, music videos, art installations and short films to increase awareness of our responsibility as humans to think and act as environmentally conscious beings that are sharing this planet with more than one species.

Aristo Risi continues to combine media art with his passion for the ocean environment in Australia and abroad.

In summary:

6 things you need to know about Aristo Risi.

– He has a camera and is passionate about the ocean

– He is a PADI dive instructor, and wannabe Technical Diver

-He is an environmentalist, and ocean conservationist

-He thinks of himself as an artist.

– He just recently learnt to spin fire, rock climb and slackline.

– He had his first and last cage fight at the age of 18.