About Bernd Arnold

About The Photographer

As a photographer I work for German and international media as well as on behalf of companies and theatres. My emphasis here is on portraits and documentaries.

The focus of my photography is the human being. From different directions, I intuitively approach my "surroundings". The result is a contemporary "document" of a world that nourishes me through its social changes and the global turn of time of the last decades.

The central photographs from my work are divided into cycles and evolve over the years from an interplay of independent and commissioned editorial and corporate works, book and exhibition projects.

The cycle Power and Ritual deals with social staging in politics, religion, demimonde, economy and the media.

The scenes in Black East Wild West move at the intersections of the secular and the sacred, on moving masses and moving people and their search for "salvation".

In the series of Unbedeutende Persönlichkeiten, the portraits draw their tension from the interplay of portrayed acquaintances and well-known personalities, the closeness and distance and the transience of the moment.

The atmospheres in Dark Cities Light Places were taken over the years on various journeys within the hometown of Cologne, the course of the nearby Rhine, the distant cities and places. The finding swings between outside and inside, the days and nights and follows the gazes of the people.

In the series Still you will find maybe the deepest possible silence.

In the earliest and at the same time current cycle Digitalis, the transition from the analog to the digital age, with the accompanying dissolution of the authenticity of photography, is documented in various series from different directions.

I was born in Cologne and I studied Photography at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Dortmund. Works and lives in Köln (Cologne), Germany.


Cologne 2022


The time of the great silence, Cologne 2020


2023 DFA - Tilt/Shift Experiment im Normalzustand, Justus-Liebig-Haus, Darmstadt
2022 Die Entdeckung der Stille, St. Peter, Oldenburg, Germany
2021 Reframed, (Rituals of Election Campaigns), Fototage Oldenburg, Germany
2020 Geschenkt, Collection of LVR Landesmuseum Bonn, Germany
2019 100 Jahre DFA - 1000 Wirklichkeiten, Haus der Photographie, Deichtorhallen Hamburg
2019 Lebe Dein Aendern, Galerie Altes Rathaus, Worpswede, Germany
2018 Augen Auf!, Ernst Leitz Museum, Wetzlar, Germany.
2017 I Grande Maestri in Complesso del Vittoriano, Rome, Italy
2017 Eyes Wide Open! in Espacio Fundación Telefónica, Madrid, Spain
2017 Art Karlsruhe 2017, in focus Galerie, Halle 1 Stand U04, (Wahl Kampf Ritual), Germany
2016 Eyes Wide Open! 100 anos de fotografia Leica, Galeria Municipal do Porto, Portugal
2016 Bewegung im Blick, Internationale Photoszene, artrmx, Cologne, Germany
2016 The Flow of Pictures. The Rhine and Photography 2016-1853, LVR Landesmuseum Bonn
2016 Eyes Wide Open! 100 jaar Leica fotografie, Sint-Pietersabdij, Gent, Belgium
2015 Eyes Wide Open! 100 years of Leica photography, OstLicht, Vienna, Austria
2015 Augen Auf! 100 Jahre Leica Fotografie, C|O Berlin, Germany
2014 Projektzeit / new projects, (Black East Wild West), Wissenschaftspark Gelsenkirchen
2014 Augen auf! 100 Jahre Leica Fotografie, Haus der Photographie, Deichtorhallen Hamburg
2013 Power and Ritual, Catholic Academy Schwerte (Solo) 
2013 8. Wiesbadener Fototage - Im Lauf der Zeit (Election campaigns), Kunsthaus Wiesbaden, Germany
2011 Wahlkampfrituale (Rituals of Election Campings), Kunsthaus Rhenania, Cologne, Germany
2010 Dunkelfeld (Kölner Heil), Galerie Altes Rathaus Musberg, Leinfelden-Echterdingen
2007 Macht und Ritual (Power and Ritual), Landesvertretung Rheinland-Pfalz, Berlin
2007 Power and Ritual, Yokohama, Japan
2006 Cologne Fine Art, (Power and Ritual), van der grinten galerie, Halle 5 Stand J68, Cologne
2006 Macht und Ritual (Power and Ritual), Stadtmuseum, Cologne, Germany
2004 Akribie, Goethe Institut, Prague, Tschechien
2004 Power and Ritual, Leica Gallery, Prague, Tschechien
2003 entracte, van der grinten Galerie (Büro für Fotos), Cologne
2002 Powerr and Ritual, Leica Gallery, Tokio, Japan
2002 Oskar Barnack Preis - die besten 10, (Rituals of election campaigns), Leica Gallery New York
2001 Wahlkampfrituale, van der grinten galerie, Messe kunstKöln
2001 Denk ich an Deutschland...,  (Power and Ritual), Internationale Fototage Herten, Germany
2000 Blicke & Ornament, Büro für Fotos (van der Grinten Gallery), Cologne (Portraitserie II)
1999 Ritual of election campaigns, Projection, Rencontres Int. de la Photographie, Arles, France
1999 Die Wirtschaftsgipfel, Büro für Fotos (van der Grinten Gallery), Cologne
1998 Fern-Sehen, Altonaer Museum, Hamburg (Ist die Erde eine Mattscheibe?)
1998 Wahlkampfrituale, Büro für Fotos (van der Grinten Gallery), Cologne
1996 Ist die Erde eine Mattscheibe?, Kunsthaus Rhenania, Cologne, Germany
and much more...


Macht und Ritual, Stadtmuseum, Köln 2006


Books and Catalogues

Die Welt der Neuen Bilder: Dokumentarfotografie und KI, Morisel, 2023
Augen auf! 100 Jahre Leica Fotografie, Kehrer Verlag, 2014 (Das Kölner Heil)
Wahl Kampf Ritual, Monograph, EditionPanorama, Mannheim 2013
Wiesbadener Fototage, Catalogue, 2013, (Wahlkampfrituale)
Deutschland im Fotobuch (Das Kölner Heil), Steidl-Verlag, 2011
Wahlkampfrituale, Catalogue, GIM, Bremen, 2011
Köln im Fotobuch,  Emons Verlag, 2010 (Kölner Heil)
Internationale Fototage Mannheim, Catalogue, Edition Panorama 2005 (MachtRitual)
Power And Ritual, Leporello, LGP Gallery Prague, Czech Republic 2004
Zeitenspiegel, Catalogue, Gabriel Grüner Stipendium, 2002 (Rhein) 
Internationale Fototage Herten, Denk ich an Deutschland, 2001 (MachtRitual)
Theatre Yearbook Cologne, SK-Stiftung, M7-Verlag, Cologne 47 plates, 1999
Wahlkampfrituale, Catalogue, Van der Grinten, Cologne , 1998
L.Fritz Gruber, Könemann Verlag, 1998 (Grubadur)
Die Eifel, Bachem Verlag, Cologne, 1998
Das Kölner Heil, Monograph, Schaden Verlag, Cologne 1997
and more...


Das Kunsthaus (Artists house), Edition artist`s newspaper #5, 2022
Raumforderung (Space Demand), Edition artist`s newspaper #4, 2022
So habe ich es gesehen, Edition artist`s newspaper #3, 2021
Die Zeit der großen Stille, Edition artist`s newspaper #2, 2020
Die Entdeckung der Stille, Edition artist`s newspaper #1, 2019
100 Years DFA, Edition, 2 Prints, Deichtorhallen Hamburg, 2019
Sakrament und Suende, Edition, Van der Grinten, Cologne 2005
habemus, Edition, Van der Grinten, Cologne 2005
Das Kölner Heil, Vorzugsausgabe inc. silvergelatin print, 1997

Editorial Work

Annabelle (CH), Bloomberg Magazine (USA), Bunte, Capital, Cicero, Dagens Nyheter (S), Das Magazin (CH), Die Woche, DIE ZEIT, Facts (CH), Financial Times Deutschland, Focus, GEO, GEO special, GEO Histoire (F), Greenpeace, NRC Handelsblad (NL), Impulse, Journalist, Kölner Stadtanzeiger, Kölner Illustrierte, L'Express (F), Merian, Neue Züricher Zeitung (CH), NZZ am Sonntag, Playboy, Spiegel, Stadtrevue, Stern, Taz, ZEITmagazin and much more...

Corporate Work

Computacenter AG, AVI Music, SAP, Hewlett Packard, GE Compunet GE Capital, Rational AG, Sal Oppenheim, EBV, Dr. Blumrath & Partner, Deutsche Postbank AG, Advesto, Deutsche Telekom AG, Claus Koch Corporate Communications, BBDO Group, Boesner GmbH, Sparkasse KölnBonn, Haniel AG, Fink & Fuchs Public Relations, Greenpeace, Kochs & Kochs Public Relation, muehlhaus & moers kommunikation and much more...

About publishing photography

For me, a vintage print is more a form of publication than an object, and my exhibitions are intended more as an extended form of publication. At the same time, a photograph in a magazine is more of an artistic object that becomes visible to a mass audience.
Photography is communication, documentation and object at the same time. The different forms of appearance change the perspectives and impressions of the respective photography and thus also allow for an expansion of the possibilities of knowledge.
Furthermore, the free handling of the form of publication also leads to a heterogeneous audience, which I prefer and appreciate very much.


The World of New Images (only in German Language)


Wahl Kampf Ritual, 2013


Edition Sakrament & Sünde, Van der Grinten, 2005


Angela Merkel in Bloomberg Magazine, 2018


Art Karlsruhe 2017, Wahl Kampf Ritual, Booth in focus galerie