Photography is an art of observation. It has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.
– Eliott Erwitt, American Photographer
For nearly a half century Millard Arnold has been guided by Erwitt’s simple, compelling philosophy in producing award-winning photographs that are now in the collections of private individuals and a number of multinational corporations around the world.
Whilst much of his earlier photographic works sensitively explored the human condition, Arnold’s new work is radically different in that it seeks to blur the distinction between photography and abstract painting by marrying the clinical technology of photography with the emotional spontaneity of painting. His new work is better described in the article Reality…Renegotiated under the Musings section.
The imaginative process behind Arnold’s work is photographic subjectivism. It is creatively complex, reflecting intellectual depth and emotional intensity. It is highly idiosyncratic but offers artistic and perhaps even endless interpretations of that which surrounds us. It seeks to find beauty in the quintessential elements of abstraction such as line, shape, color, texture and composition. Arnold believes that the focus on abstraction is of critical concern, because abstraction is the essence of substance.
Arnold’s work seeks to alter our perceptions of what we see and know by allowing mundane and ordinary subjects to become extraordinary with an imaginative shift in perspective. It flows from the heart and, in so doing, transcends and releases a range of hidden ambiguities.
Arnold’s first major photographic acclaim was in 1973 when he was awarded first prize for colour photography in the Association of the Bar of the City of New York’s annual photographic exhibition. He has gone on to win numerous other awards for his photographic works including first prize in photography at the Kalorama Art Gallery annual exhibition in Washington D.C.
Arnold has held several exhibitions worldwide including “Faces” which was exhibited at the African Art Gallery in Covent Gardens, London in 1972. He held a one-person photographic show entitled “Images” at the Ronald H. Brown Center, Illovo, Johannesburg in 1999 and recently held a one person show entitled “Seeing…” at the prestigious Ron Belling Gallery in Port Elizabeth, South Africa in 2011, which was the most successful photographic exhibition the gallery had ever hosted. On the basis of the Port Elizabeth exhibition, “Seeing…” was subsequently exhibited at the Res Gallery in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2012 where it was equally as successful. In 2017 Silvertone Gallery in Johannesburg hosted Arnold’s “Inner Visions ….Reflections on the Tao” exhibition and in 2018 Arnold was one of two photographers invited to exhibit at the Franschhoek Literary Festival. His work at the Festival was entitled “Realities….Renegotiated,” and a private display of my works were made available at a dinner hosted by a prominent radio personality.
His photographic works have also been published in the Washington Post Newspaper, and exhibited at the National Geographic Society. His works are in the possession of private collections in Europe, Africa, North and South America, Asia and Australia.