Experiments&beauty: Mark Arbeit

Mark Arbeit fashion photography

“La luce è fotografia. Newton mi ha insegnato a non aver mai paura di scattare con poca luce – può creare qualcosa di inaspettato”

Mark Arbeit, nato a Chicago nel 1953 e cresciuto tra California e Hawaii, ha lavorato con due mostri sacri, Helmut Newton e Irving Penn. Anche grazie a loro, il suo stile si è definito: semplice, elegante, sognante, a tratti d’ispirazione dada; “Penn era Mr. Technique” dice Arbeit “Tutto quello che fa è così meticoloso, così perfetto”.

Dopo gli studi d’arte e fotografia all’Università delle Hawaii e all’Art Center College of Design di Pasadena, dove incontra Newton, e dopo aver lavorato per Penn a New York, Arbeit si sposta a Milano e inizia a lavorare nella fashion photography, per Linea Italia, Donna e Vogue Bellezza.

Mark Arbeit fashion photography
http://www.markarbeit.com/
Mark Arbeit fashion photography
http://www.markarbeit.com/
Mark Arbeit fashion photography
http://www.markarbeit.com/
Mark Arbeit fashion photography
http://www.markarbeit.com/

Nel 1985 si sposta a Parigi, per allargare il suo campo artistico e lavorativo. Inizia ad esplorare il lato sperimentale della fotografia, fondando con altri fotografi dell’Art Center il gruppo ‘Il Calderone’. La loro missione era semplice: fare fotografie che non erano mai state fatte. Arbeit sceglie come strumento il focus e crea la serie “Out of Focus”, in cui ai fiori in primissimo piano si contrappongono, sullo sfondo, dei nudi femminili sfocati. ‘Volevo mostrare le forme fuori fuoco e lasciare che l’osservatore riempisse le lacune, creando qualcosa di sognante’. Nel frattempo continua con lavori più commerciali, per Vogue France, Marie Claire, In Style, People e Forbes.

Mark Arbeit Out of focus
Antherium Hat, 1987
http://www.markarbeit.com/
Mark Arbeit Out of focus
Eye-Eucharis, 1995
http://www.markarbeit.com/
Mark Arbeit Out of focus
Fiddlehead Fern, 2000
http://www.markarbeit.com/
Mark Arbeit Out of focus
In and out of focus #3
http://www.markarbeit.com/
Mark Arbeit Out of focus
In and out of focus #12
http://www.markarbeit.com/
Mark Arbeit Out of focus
Iris, 1986
http://www.markarbeit.com/
Mark Arbeit Out of focus
Poppies with False Hands, 1993
http://www.markarbeit.com/

Nel 1992 lancia la sua seconda serie Artists’ studios, con nudi femminili negli ateliers di vari artisti. “Quando entro nell’atelier, provo a creare due immagini. Una è il ritratto dell’artista senza l’artista nella fotografia, e la realizzo mostrando le sue opere, i suoi strumenti, la stanza; la seconda è la forma femminile. Volevo riportare la modella nell’atelier, perchè la luce in questo spazio disegna perfettamente la figura femminile”.

Mark Arbeit Artists studios
Atelier Jan Voss, Paris 2002
http://www.markarbeit.com/
Mark Arbeit Artists studios
Atelier Jean-Claude Barreault
http://www.markarbeit.com/
Mark Arbeit Artists studios
Atelier Jean-Pierre Duroux
http://www.markarbeit.com/
Mark Arbeit Artists studios
Atelier Ma-Tse Lin
http://www.markarbeit.com/
Mark Arbeit Artists studios
Atelier Pat Andrea, Paris 1998
http://www.markarbeit.com/
Mark Arbeit Artists studios
Atelier Robert Combas, Paris 1996
http://www.markarbeit.com/

Dopo la serie degli Atelier, Arbeit ha iniziato il progetto Polajunk Constructions, una collezione di fotomontaggi realizzati con ritagli di Polaroid. ‘Tanta spazzatura!’, dice con una risata. “Perchè non utilizzare l’alluminio e la carta velina e la colla in un pasticcio e vedere se ne esce qualcosa?”

Mark Arbeit Polajunk constructions
Body of time
http://www.markarbeit.com/
Mark Arbeit Polajunk constructions
Mirror
http://www.markarbeit.com/
Mark Arbeit Polajunk constructions
Mondrian
http://www.markarbeit.com/
Mark Arbeit Polajunk constructions
Pasley Courps, 2000
http://www.markarbeit.com/
Mark Arbeit Polajunk constructions
Silver Bowl, 1999
http://www.markarbeit.com/
Mark Arbeit Polajunk constructions
Temperature Rising, 1993
http://www.markarbeit.com/

Per vedere (anche) il lato meno sperimentatore del lavoro di Arbeit, vi rimando al suo sito!

http://www.markarbeit.com/


“Light is photography. Newton taught me never be afraid to shoot in low light – it could create something unexpected”

Mark Arbeit, born in Chicago in 1953 and raised between California and Hawaii, worked with two holy monsters, Helmut Newton and Irving Penn. Thanks to them, too, his style has defined: simple, elegant, dreamy, sometimes dada inspired; “Penn was Mr. Technique” says Arbeit “Everything he does is so meticulous, so perfect”

After photography and art studies at the University of Hawaii and at the Art Center College of Design of Pasadena, where he met Newton, and after working for Penn in New York, Arbeit moved to Milan and started to work in fashion photography, for Linea Italia, Donna e Vogue Beauty.

In 1985, he settled in Paris to further his career as well as expand his artistic boundaries. To explore the experimental side of photography Arbeit and a few ambitious photographer friends from the Art Center formed a group called ‘The Cauldron’. Its mission was simple: to take pictures that had never been done before. Arbeit chose focus as his tool, and launched Out of Focus, a series of photographs in which in the foreground Arbeit focuses sharply on a flower and in the background, an out-of-focus female nude mimics the shape and movement of the bloom. “I wanted to show the form out of focus and let the viewer fill in the gaps, create something dreamy” .

Arbeit continued to work commercially, shooting fashion for French Vogue and Marie Claire, and portraits for In Style, People and Forbes. In 1992, he launched a second series, Artists’ Studios, of female nudes in artist ateliers. “When I go into the atelier, I try to do two images,” Arbeit says. “One is a portrait of the artist without the artist in the picture, and I achieve this by showing his paints, his tools, the room, his sculptures and paintings. The second is the female form. I wanted to bring the model back into the atelier. The light in these spaces draw the female form so well.”

Following the Atelier series, Arbeit launched a project he calls Polajunk Constructions: a collection of photomontages made of all the bits that come in a Polaroid box. “So much junk!”says Arbeit with a laugh. “Why not use the aluminum and the tissue paper, and glue it into a mess and see if there’s something to it?”

To see (also) the less experimenter side of Arbeit’s work, I refer you to his site

http://www.markarbeit.com/