Jon: Self portrait photographer Arno Rafael Minkkinen shows some skin…


…”some” being the operative word.

Throughout the 70’s and early 80’s, 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 seperates 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 seperating the human body from it’s normal social connotations Minkkinen is able to, without undo emotional reference, make a precise (almost medical) argument for it’s naturalness. This turn of logic is quite unexpected in viewing the pieces. It is easy to at first assume that by removing the human form from it’s natural genetic place in the world that the viewer would become alienated from it. In reality, it is rather the opposite that occurs. By changing it context, the spectator is able to finally see that the normative way in which they have always viewed the body has been shaded by cultural contextualization. By instead showing us the whole for it’s parts, Minkkinen has made is possible for us to view the  human form as what it truly is: magnificent and mundane.


2 Responses to “Jon: Self portrait photographer Arno Rafael Minkkinen shows some skin…”

  1. 1 thehostess
    May 24, 2008 at 5:55 pm

    What incredible photographs…thanks for introducing him to me. Beautiful the way he changes your perception of the body!

  2. 2 The Bearded Traveler
    May 24, 2008 at 7:31 pm

    It all screams “Pink Floyd album cover” to me.
    Not in a bad way (actually, I just paid $120 to have Animals framed).

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