Ten’s To See: ‘1:21’ by Daniel Arnold at Larrie in NYC
Although always varied in subject matter, a Daniel Arnold image is almost instantly recognisable. Arnold’s photographs and videos capture intimate moments, emotions and stolen glances, each image an immediate, intensely personal snapshot of humanity and the world within which we exist. The photographer’s unique take on the New York City microcosm over the course of the past summer is now on display as 1:21, Arnold’s debut solo show in the city, at the Chinatown-based gallery Larrie.
While he’s often described as a documentary or street photographer, neither of these titles accurately describes what Arnold does. The photographs he takes are both an extension of himself and the product of a self-confessed compulsive curiosity, which he shares on his Instagram, but also regularly appear in publications including the New York Times, The New Yorker and Vogue. Arnold has also collaborated on shoots for both Ten and Ten Men, heading underground in London with Garth Spencer to shoot the best of AW18 collection on the tube for Ten Men’s Issue 48 and taking to the streets of New York amidst the madness of the Halloween Parade for the following issue. Arnold also teamed up with our editrix Sophia Neophitou multiple times, capturing the likes of Kota Eberhardt and Subah Koj in Kefalonia, Greece.
Hailing originally from Milwaukee, the photographer moved to New York 17 years ago and is now based in Brooklyn. Much of Arnold’s work honestly captures the changing streets, activities and energy of the city and its inhabitants. The works included in 1:21 were all taken over this past summer around the city. Although potentially a pun playing on the shared intimacy of both a one-to-one meeting and Arnold’s photography, the show’s name is in fact taken from an alarm on his phone. “I have a few random alarms on my phone to snap me out of thinking about myself and to remind me to look around and pay attention. 1:21 is one of those,” he writes over email. “The work in the show was all made this summer as an antidote for a manic overload,” Arnold explains. “I responded to my flaming head the same way I would to news of a clown fight – I ran out the door with my camera to see what I could do about it.”
Filling the walls of the intimate, corridor-like gallery are multiple never-before-seen photographic prints and video installations, curated by Arnold’s friend Emily Rosser, who first met the photographer whilst working as the visual director of Vogue.com. “I’ve always supported and loved his work, but beyond that, we’re just really good friends. Collaborating in a non-editorial space felt exciting for both of us,” explains Rosser. Although experience on the pages of publications, Arnold’s work is most readily engaged with through a screen either online or through social media and seldom in a gallery context. “I also always felt the importance of viewing his photographs beyond a screen,” she continues. “I think it really hit us when we were in the darkroom looking at these big beautiful prints and all of the hard work from the last few months really started to make sense, his images took on a different life and meaning within this new context.”
Still shooting until about a week ago, Arnold submitted a total of around 500 images taken over summer to Rosser, which were whittled down to a select 45. In the spur of the moment, Rosser decided to make a last-minute book to accompany the exhibition last week whilst installing. They printed the publication using an online express printing service, without time for a test print. “I just knew that I wanted it to be this prolific image dump mixed with his screenshots and sentimental book quotes. A kind of non-precious, imperfect, scrapbook that would live on after the show ended,” she says. “That kind of last-minute, risk-taking, try it and see what sticks approach has embodied our process throughout the entire making of this show. I think it’s resulted in a really honest and sincere body of work.”
The exhibition is at once a candid snapshot into the photographer’s mind, humour and process, as well as the fantastical eccentricities of the quotidian. What would Arnold like visitors to take away from 1:21? “Heightened awareness of their surroundings, less fearful vulnerability, a very expensive print.”
‘1:21’ by Daniel Arnold is on display at Larrie, New York until November 24th 2019.
Photographs by Daniel Arnold, courtesy of Larrie.