My Biography

Arnold Berns

My passion for old films has had a deep and lasting impact on my photography. My signature style blends cinematic elements with the classicism of black & white photography, resulting in fine art photographs evocative of the film noir genre. I studied photography at the New York School for Social Research, the New York Institute of Photography, the New York School of Visual Arts and the Southeastern School of Photographic Studies in Daytona, Florida before moving to Sarasota, a culturally vibrant and picturesque city on Florida’s Gulf Coast.

Artist Statement

I seek to capture sense of story, similar to the types of stories portrayed in films from an earlier era. As a child, I would see certain movies over and over again, wondering what thought processes the director engaged in as he orchestrated each scene, how much of the film was preconceived and how much was spontaneous, and what role did individual actors play in creating a shared temporal identity.

In my own work, I think of my subjects as actors, each with a persona that influences the tone of the photographs in a way that results in a plot – a tale – rather than simply an image. I want viewers to question my photographs in the same way they would question a film with a cliffhanger ending: “What happens Next?” I also want then to ponder the conjectural events that might have led up to the scene depicted in the image – a “cliffhanger beginning” if you will.

I feel that black and white imagery produces the contrast and compositional clarity necessary to illuminate the stories I want to share in a timeless and classical way. By bringing these elements into high relief, I allow the unfolding drama or tale to become the primary focus.