Saga: The Journey of Arno Rafael Minkkinen

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9780811851466: Saga: The Journey of Arno Rafael Minkkinen

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Saga is the first major monograph of the work of Arno Minkkinen, published to accompany a series of exhibitions in the U.S. and Europe. Offering a comprehensive retrospective of this vital photographer's work, Saga gives new meaning to the self-portrait. Eschewing digital manipulation, Minkkinen juxtaposes his own body (and occasionally those of his family) with details in the landscape so that, in whole or in part, the human form collaborates with nature to create a work of lyrical beauty. Essays by a stellar roster of writers and scholarsnovelist Alan Lightman and critics A.D. Coleman and Arthur Dantoexplore the inner world of Minkkinen's pictures. Surreal and humorous, documentary and artful, the photographs of Arno Minkkinen leave the viewer moved and captivated.

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About the Author:

Arno Rafael Minkkinen was born in Helsinki in 1945. Raised in New York, he has had numerous international exhibitions and now teaches at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell.

A.D. Coleman is a prolific writer of photographic history and criticism.

Arthur Danto is Emeritus Johnsonian Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University and art critic for The Nation.

Alan Lightman is the author of The Good Benito and Einstein's Dreams.

From Publishers Weekly:

A self-described "trickster," since 1970 Finnish-American photographer Minkkinen has created images that whimsically explore the relationship between his naked body and nature. Many of his photographs deliberately deceive, making it appear as if his hands and feet are walking across water, say, or his arm extends the length of a canyon. The photographs gathered in this retrospective are organized around The Kalevala, Finland's national epic poem. In them, Minkkinen bends his body around trees, buries himself in snow and bends a knee to match the curve of a rock formation. There is an undeniable grace to the way Minkkinen uses his body to mimic nature—his images are often startling and at times beautiful. There is also, however, a lack of variety; the images taken in 1973 look much like the ones taken in 1999, and the thematic organization of the book makes it all the more difficult to trace any development in his style or technique. The book's essays—by noted art critics Arthur Danto and A.D. Coleman and novelist Alan Lightman—are eloquent, intelligent and well written. However, like Minkkinen's photographs, they try too hard to reposition the self-portrait as a running, whimsical dialogue with the physical world. (Nov.)
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Arno Rafael Minkkinen
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Minkkinen, Arno Rafael
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