Arno Massee

Arno Massee

Amsterdam, South Holland, Netherlands

About Arno Massee


“I work intuitively and am attracted by the beauty of the ordinary. I seek to discover the connection and vulnerability and look for coherence without wondering why or how.”


I have been creative since i can remember, drawing, painting and photographing the world around me. I have been working as a photographer for 25 years and now, shooting commercial and editorial assignments. My studio is based in the small village of Rijnsaterwoude, near Amsterdam.

I make my art because it is a necessity, it makes me happy and meaningful, i want to share the emotions i see and feel through the images i create. I am attracted by classic themes such as vulnerability, darkness, blasphemy, passion. Looking for the symbolism in the ordinary. The ordinary is what inspires me, the simple things that can have great meaning if noticed. I am greatly inspired by the quote of David Hum : " Beauty in things exists in the mind which contemplates them" Other artists i really admire or inspire me are painters like Marc Rothko and Gerard Richter. I also get a great deal of my inspiration from musicians like Nick Cave, Eddie Vedder and Tom Waits, lyrics and poems.

The last years i have been redirecting my focus on my own artistic work and specializing in analoge printing techniques and advanced  cyanotype printing. I worked days and nights at a time in the darkroom when i started out. The handcraft involved is what makes my images and prints my own and unique. I now combine digital techniques in capturing the image and creating the negative used to print the images. I prefer to work with my Hasseblad , scanning the images and processing and altering them digitally. This way i can combine modern and older techniques of photography. The prints i make are a one on one reproduction of the negative, so if the print is 70 cm x 100 cm, so is the negative. I work with handcrafted lightsenstive aquarelle paper which i expose in direct sunlight. Exposing the paper can take a long time depending on season and strength of the sun. There are other ways to accomplish exposure, like UV lights, but i embrace the uncertainty and uncontrollable factor of working with sunlight. The prints then get washed, bleached and toned. This can be done with arabic black tea, red wine, green leaves, etc The process of making one print can take up to 5 hours. Even though i offer the prints in edition, every print is an unique work of art and no print is exactly the same. The slow process forces me to step back and look at every print i make or negative i create.

Besides creating handcrafted cyanotype prints, i also use high end print labs to print my work on Black and White  Piezography K7 Fine Art FibaPrint. These prints have seven shades of gray ink (which is unique), the highest resolution a  subtle tonal range and extra matte appearance. This is mostly used for the larger prints i offer. Prints up to 30 cm x 40 cm are printed in my darkroom in my studio.

The themes i work with get strengthened by the craft involved. I combine multiple techniques to create specialized one of kind cyanotype prints. I try to evolve the prints/ artworks by working with and combining photography with arabic ink or paint, etching techniques are also very interesting and challenging. The roughness that originates from working intensively with the paper becomes part of the work.

I print in smaller and larger sizes, i try to stick to 50 cm x 65 cm and 20 cm x 30 cm formats, but working a 100 cm wide piece of 500 grams aquarelle paper is challenging but magnificent.

His work cannot only be defined as photographic. The work is a combination of alanloge printing techniques, combined with acrylic paint, charcoal and Indian ink.


Self educated and still learning everyday


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