The images presented are of simple things shown simply, revealing an underlying esthetic in the mundane. A ceiling becomes a study in geometry and contrast. An elevator wall evokes a dance of light.
My work results in an impressionistic view of the subject with a new object being created that did not exist before. The photograph itself becomes the object in which the subject merely plays a small part. No story is told. No event is recorded. The viewer sees my impression of a simple thing and if I am successful, will linger and see something not seen before.
I believe that for a work to be successful it must impart my vision and demonstrate a mastery of the craft. I use only traditional photographic film materials and personally print all images to exacting technical standards.
Each image produced is a selenium toned gelatin silver print on 11x14 or 16x20 double weight fiber-based paper. My go-to camera is a medium format Mamiya 7II and more recently a Mamiya 6.
Following is a quote from an exhibition review in which I believe the reviewer captured the spirit of my work “Photographer Arnold Kastenbaum isolates geometry found in real life to create his moody images. Kastenbaum shoots in black and white, but there is not much gray in-between in these stark visuals. The subjects include hand rails, light fixtures, stairwells, bodies of water, and sand. Kastenbaum's photographs manage to be rooted in place while being compellingly abstract; the indoor and outdoor settings are equally intimate and strange. Even when it is completely clear what the subject is, you find yourself struck by the sleek beauty of the bend in a silver hand rail or the way lightbulbs make a light fixture begin to resemble the moon.” Couldn’t have said it better myself.