Arno Rafael Minkkinen

"Arno Rafael Minkkinen is a Finnish photographer who has lived and worked in the United States for the better part of 45 years. His work explores an uncanny juxtaposition between the human body and landscapes, where body parts function as integral parts of trees, rivers, skylines, and rock formations. Many of his photos require extreme physical risk, dangling his body from cliffs, holding his breath underwater, or at times facing his greatest psychological fears. One of his more incredible photos he shot while in school at RISD in the 1970s. It shows him leaping, nude, off a snow-covered hill toward an icy, flowing river. At the precise moment the shutter clicked he managed to contort and conceal his entire upper body behind his right leg and buttock creating what anyone today would assume is a photoshopped image. A barren, torsoless leg sticking out of the winter snow." (

"Throughout the 70s and early 80s, photographer Arno Rafael Minkkinen created a body of work (no pun intended) in which he explored the idea of the inherent naturalness of the human form. While this is not a revolutionary idea, it is Minkkinen’s execution that separates him from other artists working with similiar concepts in mind. In each self portrait, Minkkinen isolates parts of his body in such a way as to make them seem foreign. Upon first viewing, the body in question frequently appears either severed, unrecognizeable as part of a human whole, or existing in the world seemingly through supernatural intervention. Minkkinen is quick to point out in his artist’s statement that none of the images have been manipulated through digital or mechanical means. Everything you see is as the camera saw it in the natural world.

By separating the human body from its normal social connotations Minkkinen is able to, without..."
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First Collected by

Jenny Yi


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