Inspired by his diverse experiences and extensive travelling across various continents, artist Arno Elias (b.1977) uses hand-painted photographs to engage philosophical disquisitions on culture, history, and humankind. His photographs reflect the artist's wishes to maintain the cultural originality and indigenous values that are or to be "lost" in the wake of globalization and industrialization. From the faces of the Mursi tribe of Ethiopia to endangered animals in Kenya's savanna, Elias' subjects are captured spontaneous, serendipitous, and in full-length or three-quarter views, evoking a delicate artificiality. His images with fine detail and rich tonality resonate a sense of nostalgia and compelling emotion. By incorporating the act of hand painting, Elias creates a sense of connection to his subjects and multiple layers of narratives, rigorously investigating the most fundamental and intrinsic aspect of human experience, nature and culture.
Arno Elias' work has been exhibited widely in New York, San Francisco, Paris, and Dubai. His work has been featured in numerous art fairs throughout North America including Art Chicago, San Francisco Art Market, Art Miami, Art Southampton, Art Silicon Valley, Art Toronto as well as at the prestigious Art Basel Switzerland. He currently lives and works in New York City.