Photographer Jarmo Pohjaniemi Finds Success at Art Basel

Over the past decade, Art Basel Miami Beach has become the most prestigious art show in America.

Leading galleries from North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa all take part in the annual event, which showcases works by artists of the 20th and 21st centuries.

Offering exceptional pieces by both renowned artists and cutting-edge newcomers, the exhibiting galleries are among the world’s most respected art dealers.

The show is a vital source for art lovers, allowing them to both discover new developments in contemporary art and experience rare museum-caliber artworks.

Florida photographer Jarmo Pohjaniemi OMP Member #68348 was a featured artist again this year after successful showings the past three years. His elegant, evocative images were displayed at the Red Dot venue, and generated waves of interest from buyers and aficionados alike.

After the photographer — who is a regular Playboy contributor and the founder of the Shoot the Centerfold seminar series – was told that his images should be exhibited in art galleries, Jarmo began contacting upscale venues about the possibility of exhibiting at Art Basel as well as galleries worldwide.

“Over the past few years, Art Basel has been a very rewarding experience. I have exhibited in different galleries and I learned quickly that you need to be part of a reputable gallery to be able to sell your art. Just taking images to the art world that you like does not guarantee results! You need to offer images that the art world likes because the collectors and dealers know when you have it, and when you don’t. The general public is not as selective about artwork as collectors and dealers are. There is also room for new things as well — galleries are always on the lookout for anyone that could become the next big hit on the scene.”

Jarmo reports that this year was very fruitful for many galleries and himself, despite the current economic climate. “It is very hard to determinate in advance what’s going to happen each year at Art Basel. Dealers are betting on new artists while having established names participate as well, in case the new art does not sell. The only thing you can compare to past year is the sales history and how did each specific artwork sold. This is kind of a road map for galleries to see what sells and what does not. I find it very interesting when dealers say, ‘I would have never thought that this specific art piece would go for such a high price.’”

His success at Art Basel has been a result of amazing images coupled with great locations. “It is really difficult for find a good gallery that reps your work and actually does something to sell your work. I learned that roughly 20% of the galleries sell and show serious numbers, and the rest struggle. Sale prices can be from a few thousand dollars to millions. It is very rewarding for an artist when you sell a photograph or painting, no matter what the price. For me, it’s the experience and the ability to be part of something this prestigious.”

Jarmo relates that artists and photographers can get a lot out of participating at Art Basel. “You can look forward to gaining validation, wisdom, and understanding about the way the fine-art photography market works. There is nothing more rewarding and validating than being part of a successful venture, and being accepted as an artist. I have met so many art dealers, gallery owners, buyers and talented photographers during past five days through Art Basel. This just has just been an amazing experience for me.”

He admits that his proudest achievement is being featured in the same gallery that reps acclaimed artists including Elliott Erwitt, Douglas Kirkland, Steve McCurry, Marc Chagall, Patrick Demarchelier and Helmut Newton. “This has been an honor for me. I take all this as a journey, and everyday is a lesson well-learned. I always tell people: If you do it for the money, you will never make it. Do it for the love of art, and money will find you!”

Photographers who wish to meet and learn from Jarmo Pohjaniemi are invited to attend his upcoming Shoot The Centerfold seminar in Miami. The workshop, which also features Playboy legend Arny Freytag, will take place on Jan 27-29, 2011. Visit the official website at for details and ticket information. Art lovers interested in contacting Jarmo about his works can email him at

Image of Mary Alejo (OMP Model #244761) by Jarmo Pohjaniemi (OMP Member #68348)

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