Photographer Arno Rafael Minkkinen was born in 1945 in Helsinki, but grew up and studied in the United States. He is a photographer, writer, professor of art and collector. For over three decades he has made abstract black-and-white photographic works, with combined genres of landscape and portraits.
Minkkinen is a kind of wizard, whose works are at once witty, profound, humorous and poetic. He does not manipulate his works; instead, they are ”real”. Therefore, some of them are truly surprising, arousing feelings of wonderment and confusion in the viewer. Minkkinen’s photographs are masterly works in technical terms: real, old-fashioned, richly toned and beautiful silver-gelatin prints.
Many of my photographs are difficult to make. Some can even be dangerous. I do not want to have someone else coming in harm’s way taking the risks I need to take: to lean out off a cliff or stay underwater for the sake of my picture. We control how much pain we can tolerate; such information is unknowable by anyone else. Some of my pictures might look simple, but in reality they can test the limits of what a human body is capable of or willing to risk. Thus I title them self-portraits, so the viewer knows who is in the picture and who took it. (Arno Rafael Minkkinen)
(all photos via Arno Rafael Minkkinen)