Arno Rafael Minkkinen: Optic Nerve

Carra Oteto

Arno Rafael Minkkinen: Optic Nerve

Location: Atelier De Mecanique

This exhibit was about how Minkkinen photographed his body for 40 years mixing the beauty of his body with that of different kinds of landscape. He had a seven-room exhibit with images of his legs, full body and even children and women’s bodies interacting with landscape. All of his images were mind blowing, because they really did test your mind. For some of them, I couldn’t even decipher from what was nature and what was a body part.


His other idea was to use the camera to “spontaneously and uniquely visual impossibilities.” Being that these were all self-portraits, he did a spectacular job at interacting with nature in ways many artists have never done. He used his nude body parts and that of women and kids to illustrate how landscape and the human body share similar beauty.

Minkkinen spoke about how he wanted to explore and learn more ways on how to discover unknown compositions. I learned from him how the human body along with nature in a way that we have never imagined could create art. I also learned that self-portraits could be hard to create, depending on what kind of concept a person might decide to go after.



One memorable image was that of Minkkinen’s back lined up with mountains in the background. The lines in the image were so powerful and noticeable it amazed me. I also liked the contrast between his skin and the water and mountains behind him. It was so original it made me almost wish I were the one who created the image. This single image basically demonstrated his entire exhibit. Everything about it was pure art.


This image described the title, an Optic Nerve.


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