Born in Paris France, Arno Elias is a French American Artist, Painter, Photographer, Musician and Activist. He is best known for his hand-painted, hand-embellished photographs of endangered species and indigenous peoples, both of whom have been devastated by the impacts of industrialization.
Elias’ process for creating his multi-media artworks is quite involved. After developing each photograph, the artist hand-paints a distinct language of codes, designs, and embellishments on top of each photo’s surface. In this way, each piece becomes a unique mixed-media photographic painting. The relationships and connections Arno is able to realize in photographing people and wildlife, have imbued his spirit with a quest for humanity and awakened his senses to the power and beauty of these diverse cultures.
Arno Elias’ artwork has been exhibited and collected globally, his painted photography have been featured in numerous art fairs throughout North America and Europe.
In 2016, Elias created the worldwide campaign “I’m Not a Trophy” dedicated to creating greater awareness of the rapid extinction of endangered species around the world. For the campaign, Elias created a series of photographs with fashion icon Cara Delevingne. In 2019 Elias was invited to the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly on the topic of animal welfare and sustainable development.
Elias is also a music composer. In 2005, Elias composed and produced Buddha Bar Nature in collaboration with reknown wildlife activist Allain Bougrain-Dubourg, he also composed the Musical Score for the United Nations Organization in New-York, a Campaign for UNICEF called “For every Child” with recording artist Shakira. Elias was chosen by Brigitte Bardot to compose music for the Brigitte Bardot Foundation, which was created to help protect animals from abuse.
The artist currently lives and works in New-York.