Biography

Arno Rafael Minkkinen is a Finnish American photographer noted for his unmanipulated nude self-portraits in the landscape. Born in Helsinki in 1945, he moved with his family to America in 1951. Raised in Brooklyn, New York, he later attended Wagner College on Staten Island, majoring in English. After five years in the advertising business as a Madison Avenue copywriter, he discovered photography working on the Minolta camera account. “What happens inside your mind can happen inside a camera,” was the turning-point headline he wrote in 1970. A year later, studying with John Benson at the Apeiron Workshops in Millerton, New York, he began his self-portrait work.

He received his MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, studying with Harry Callahan and Aaron Siskind. Currently he is Professor of Art at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. He is also docent and visiting professor at the University of Art & Design Helsinki and École d’Art Appliqués in Vevey, Switzerland.