Monday, October 27, 2014

Arno Rafael Minkkinen - The Naked Eye


Arno Rafael Minkkinen presented an excellent lecture on his work at the MFA this evening. I became a fan of Minkkinen in 1978 when he published his first book, Frostbite. Thanks in good part to Minkkinen I can claim to have been photographed naked in every Texas State Park plus several National Parks, Reserves and Forests  from South Padre to Caddo, which is only a very slight exaggeration—quite a few of them along with many places in between. Minkkinen has surpassed me exponentially and he does it in the city as well, which well surpasses my Bare Cheek Park photo. The major difference is that my photographs were taken by Janet and he did his own photography. 

It was interesting learning how he got started in photography and how he accomplished his work. He was born in Finland. Although he came to this country when in his teens, the Scandinavians are not nearly as uptight as we are about nudity. 

Unfortunately he did not show my favorite photograph of his where he is hanging over the gunwale of a rowboat with his head and shoulders under water. He said that on most of his photographs he set his camera on 90 second delay. That is a long time to hold your breath. I knew it must have been a considerable period of time because there was not a single ripple on the water—very surreal. But the ones where he is on and even under snow hurt to view—don’t like snow, especially when I am naked not that I am ever going to admit that I have tried that. LOL Interesting lecture and as usual I purchased the book.

The very first question asked after the lecture wanted to know if he had ever been arrested. He told the story of one run in with the police where he was standing at the top of a cliff a considerable distance off the road. He noticed several patrol cars assembling at the foot of the cliff. He was requested to come down via bullhorn but wasn’t arrested. Standing on the cliff sans skivvies, he apparently had given some poor grandmother a near heart attack. She apparently wasn’t Scandinavian.

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