Visual Feast, September 18, 2014
Photographer Hugh Arnold focuses his considerable talents behind the lens to showcase the lure of the sea in this visual feast that celebrates women’s sensuality. Lush full color and black and white photos along with the occasional quotes from high profile personalities like Mother Theresa and John F. Kennedy evoke a sense of wonder. While some readers may be put off by the nudity, it is an integral part of the message Arnold is conveying. Particularly interesting are the many instances where rotating the photo creates an entirely different and unexpected underwater view. The use of bubbles and thin, filmy gauze adds to the sense of motion while the fish serve to remind viewers of the context. Overall this is an outstanding example of the photographer’s art and will surely inspire a new appreciation for the medium.
You have all the best qualities of Herb Ritts, November 6, 2014
A rich colorful emotional photographic, life and personal journey created by a master lensman and his devoted crew, thank you Mr Arnold! for brining this gorgeous epic of undersea oddesy to life.
You have all the best qualities of Herb Ritts, Minor White, Sir Richard Avedon, Albert Watson and Bill King with your very own spice and passion that is beamingly endless in a vast amount of special and powerful images of 2 real life mermaids who are all over the ocean, thank you. this is big.
I like the richness, HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER, March 28, 2015
If you've seen Schatz's book, H2O, this book can not be considered only on its own. It has to stand in comparison - and compares well.
Arnold's emphasis differs. He makes much of entrained air, inverted positions, gauzy decor, and ambiguities. These images pose figure against everything else in the water, and most especially the figure against interface of water and air. Floating hair, floating drapery, and floating soft tissues of the womanly figure, they all take on lives of their own when water negates gravity. Then, when two figures interact, dynamics become even richer. Is that lead and follow in some weightless dance, or something more intimate? With ambiguities of weight, mass, focus, and mood, this engages the ready in dozens of ways.
As opposed to H2O. Although Schatz engages play of air and water at times, most images carry only water and figure - and, with no surface to show that it's water, the water vanishes. Only figure remains. Arnold works with slim figures and slim busts; Schatz engages smoothly-muscled dancers models with lush curves (and even more of that lush soft mass). Arnold works with rich backgrounds of natural aquatic environment - Schatz strips the background away completely, again leaving only the model. I like the richness, hinted eroticism, and willowy beauty of Arnold's vision. Schatz sometimes uses those element. Mostly, though, it's just the model, the figure, and her native elegance.
I like this book. I like it a lot. By itself, it's a delightful achievement. But, Schatz lingers in my mind, with his stark, pure focus of vision. It offers precision, clarity, and an edge of monomania that echoes with my engineer's soul. Arnold's book offers beauty and variety - but Schatz's offers something just a bit deeper and more revealing.
AGUA NACIDA: IT MUST BE SEEN! February 1, 2015
I have been struggling a bit as I thought about which superlatives to use in this review of Hugh Arnold's masterpiece, AGUA NACIDA, determining which words and phrases would do honor to what he accomplished in this uncompromising photographic adventure? But rather than struggle to try and write this from memory, I went back to the book for the third time in less than a month, and meandered slowly and deliberately through each delicious page, trying to imagine it was a first visit instead of a third.
Once again I was left speechless, hypnotized by dozens upon dozens of unparalleled underwater photographs featuring beautiful young mermaids expressing themselves in ballet-like movements within nature's ultimate stage. Mr. Arnold's photographic images are choreographed perfectly with wonderful quotations from such noteworthy individuals as Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Dr. Anita Johnston, Mother Theresa, and John F. Kennedy among others. The art direction is stunning.
Mr. Arnold captured visual perspectives in AGUA NACIDA that scream out silently in their sensitivity, honesty, unfiltered and uncensored dignity, and a unique blend of angles and oceanic lighting. It is as though Mr. Arnold conducted a full orchestra comprised of underwater lighting and color that is beyond description. Mr. Arnold incorporated tangential stories from the depths of his own vivid imagination and blended them with a mature and wildly dynamic sense of poetic balance to enhance this delicate fantasy view of life itself in an undersea adventure that honors women and the feminine mystique........mermaids of the universe.
I have never experienced a book quite like this. It is photographic art at the highest level. For those who are obsessed with the sea and the depths of our impressions about it -- and about the importance of mermaids -- of the feminine itself in life itself and our dreams about it -- I strongly recommend AGUA NACIDA.
Highly Recommended, 12 Mar. 2015
I thoroughly recommend this book. The pictures are beautifully presented and extremely thoughtfully portrayed. Just lovely!
An entrancing book of wonderful photographs - highly recommended, 3 Nov. 2014
What a wonderful and inspirational book of photographs! If you've seen Hugh Arnold's photos online, you won't be disappointed with this wonderful large coffee table photo book. It's quite magical - one of the most memorable and entrancing photo books of 2014.