Sculptor Daniel Arsham Will Display His Photographs for the First Time in 2024

A selection of photographs from the artist's vast private archive is headed to Fotografiska New York.

Daniel Arsham, Untitled (2022). Courtesy of the artist.

Turns out, Daniel Arsham, the artist whose celebrated eroded sculptures have paved the way to high-profile collaborations, is also a low-key photographer. And we’ll get an eyeful next year, when Arsham unveils his decades-spanning archive of photographs for the first time. 

On view at Fotografiska New York from March 22 through mid-June 2024, “Daniel Arsham: Phases” will bring together a selection from the artist’s private photo archive, which numbers in the thousands. Featured here are about 25 images that the artist has shot over the years—of nocturnal cityscapes, views from airplanes, rare birds, centuries-old ruins—illustrating how photography has shaped his sculptural practice.  

“Daniel sees the world by both what is there, but also by what is not: negative space becomes subject matter. In his photographs, abstracted figures, skylines and natural elements are reduced to black silhouettes,” said Amanda Hajjar, the director of exhibitions at Fotografiska New York, over email. “Scale is another recurring theme: aerial views, images of space, the stars, the moon.” 

The photographs will be on view alongside a few of Arsham’s key sculptures, highlighting how his preoccupation with negative space, scale, and trompe l’œil has played out across mediums.

The artist Daniel Arsham. Photo: @danielarsham via Instagram

Arsham received his first camera at the age of 10 and would go on to develop a habit of photographing his family, travel, and other life experiences. “Photography was the first thing I made that I felt could be a piece of art,” he told Whitewall in 2015. “Before I made paintings, before sculptures—anything, really—it was photography.” 

Over the years, the artist has held on to his early cameras, including his first Pentax K1000, and amassed other vintage photographic and film equipment to immortalize them in his sculptures. His “Future Relic” and “Crystal Relic” series features various models, from Polaroid to Nikon to Hasselblad, their clay and cast resin bodies purposefully weathered.  

“Photography has always been in the background of Daniel’s career, informing—subconsciously or consciously—his other artistic practices,” Hajjar added. “It is quite revealing to see what he takes pictures of, what interests him, what he keeps coming back to. This exhibition feels like you’re getting an insider view into what piques Daniel’s creative interests.” 

“Phases” will be accompanied by the release of Daniel Arsham Photography, the first book to document his photographic practice. 

Arsham, in the meantime, just dropped his latest collaboration with Tiffany & Co., for which he designed an eroded Venus of Arles bust in bronze to hold the jeweler’s T1 bracelet. The release follows the serial collaborator’s many other partnerships with brands not limited to Hot Wheels, Moët & Chandon, Porsche, Pokémon, Hublot, and Ikea. About 30 of his sculptures are currently on view at “Score and Sound” at the Sculpture Center in his hometown of Cleveland. 


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