Sunday, July 19, 2009

Self Portraits: Arno Minkkinen

I am not usually a big advocate of self portraits. In fact self portraits have to be executed in very creative way before I find them to be visually appealing. Arno Minkkinen is one such photographer that has made some outstanding self portraits. Arno utilizes the elements within his environment and within the composition of the photograph to produce self portraits that give the viewer a very dynamic image to interpret .

I have spent some time looking up Arno’s photography. Out of the images that I have seen so far, this image below is amongst the top in his portfolio that I admire the most. I enjoy the simplicity in the composition, the use of his surroundings, and most of all the quality of light that is in this image.

This past February I stood in the MFA for about 10 minutes just looking at one of Arno’s photographs. (image below) I stood there just reading the image, trying to understand what he was feeling when he chose this particular location. The location that he has chosen is a seemingly familiar image. The feel of the wood on my feet, the sand against my body, the sounds of the waves crashing, the feeling of the coastal breeze blowing against my skin are the thoughts that came to my mind as I was standing there just reading this photograph. One of the most appealing qualities of this image is the use of textures. The soft sky and water meet the texture of the wood with Arno’s body in a horizon line. Unless a self portrait can make me feel this way, or I find myself standing there reading the image as thoroughly as I did with Arno’s, I do not find self portraits to be to appealing. Most of the self portraits I have seen are snap shots. Where as Arno’s photographs are fine arts self portraits that convey a use of environment and the elements in the composition.

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